Lesson: Determining a pathway after high school can be a challenging choice for many students, who may not finalize their post high school decision until after graduating from high school. Whereas other students will have committed to a pathway long prior to beginning their senior year of high school. As cited in the overview:

  • 44 percent of high school graduates will choose to enroll into 4-year colleges and universities
  • 25 percent of high school graduates will choose to enroll into 2-year technical or community colleges
  • 31 percent of high school graduates will not choose to enroll into college immediately following high school

Whether you are still deciding, or have committed to a pathway after high school, this activity will guide you through writing a self-reflective narrative in response to a number of questions. Discuss your completed narrative with your parents, college advisor, or mentor.

Narrative: What Opportunities Should I Be Pursuing? The following instructions will guide you through creating your narrative document.

Set up a new page in your Narrative Document with the following heading:

Name of your Cohort
Narrative: What Pathway Am I Planning to Pursue?
Day Month Year

Cut and Paste each of the following writing prompts into your Narrative Document.

Writing Prompt #1 – Military Service: Are you considering military options following high school, such as enlisting in the military, applying for admission to a military service academy, or applying for an ROTC, NROTC, or AFROTC scholarship? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Writing Prompt #2 – Community or Technical College:Attending a community or technical college following high school can provide the most direct pathway into the workplace or lowest cost option to earning an Associates or Bachelors degree. Are you considering applying to a community or technical college? If so, why? If not, why not?

Writing Prompt #3 – 4-year College or University: Since attending a 4-year college or university following high school can be the most expensive pathway toward your educational or career aspirations, it should require deliberate and thoughtful consideration of the type of institution, major, and net price based on the financial concerns of your family. Are you planning to attend a 4-year institution? If so, why? In not, why not?

Writing Prompt #4 – Are you pursuing a scholarship pathway?: Applying for scholarships is highly competitive and can take hundreds, if not thousands of hours to research and submit scholarship applications. However, over the course of our program, we have identified the following scholarship pathways:

  1. Need-based institutional scholarships, typically offered by selective colleges and universities to students with demonstrated financial need. These are typically the highest dollar scholarships.
  2. Merit-based institutional scholarships for achievement in such areas as athletics, academics, and leadership. Merit-based scholarships for academic achievement, typically based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores, is typically the highest dollar merit-based scholarships.
  3. GI Bill. Typically pays for the costs of college for military personnel and their dependent children.
  4. State scholarships and grants, typically offered to resident-students, who are U.S. citizens, to pay for college-related costs for attending colleges and universities within a student’s home state.
  5. Federal scholarships and grants, may include the U.S. Pell Grant, Teach Grant, and other grants for military and federal employees.

Based on your areas of meritorious achievement, state residency, or family background, which of these 5 sources of scholarships and grants will you be pursuing to pay your college costs? How much money do you anticipate being awarded? Explain.

Writing Prompt #5 – Summarize your pathway after high school:Review your responses to the previous 4 writing prompts and summarize the pathway that you are planning to pursue following high school and explain why you believe it represents the best and most cost effective pathway toward your educational and career aspirations.  (150 – 250 words)