The Senior Class of 2017 in Numbers and Colleges

Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons license. <>

Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons license.

Every class has a few amazing students, those that will go to highly renowned colleges and achieve the highest possible honors. The class of 2017 certainly has those students; after all, three students in the senior class will be attending MIT next year (MIT is also one of the best engineering schools in the world and has an acceptance rate of about 7%). However, that does not imply that the rest of the senior class is not intelligent or capable. World renowned colleges, while incredibly impressive, do not measure a student’s worthiness. Instead, what college a person attends or what job a person gets only needs to reflect their dreams. It doesn’t even matter if a person goes to college as long as they are pursuing a life they want and are happy. High school prepares a person to chase those dreams and the senior class of 2017 is doing just that.

Aside from the three students attending MIT, other seniors will be attending similarly impressive and difficult universities outside of the state of Colorado, including the University of Southern California, the University of North Carolina, Vanderbilt University, John Hopkins University, Purdue University, the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and more. Air Academy has produced an incredibly high caliber senior class yet again and Kadets will continue to fill the ranks of some of the most prestigious colleges in the nation.

On a state level, many Air Academy seniors will be choosing to attend in-state colleges such as the University of Colorado (both Boulder and Denver), Colorado State University, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Denver University, the School of Mines, and so on. The idea of attending out of state colleges is somewhat romanticized. There are great colleges outside of Colorado, but it should also be recognized that the in-state colleges are still incredible colleges. For example, the School of Mines has one of the highest averages for student salaries straight out of college in the entire nation and Denver University has some of the best foreign affairs classes in the nation as well (including several study abroad programs). Students should not be ashamed that they are attending Colorado colleges by any means; they are high caliber schools that people from other states dream of attending.

Different than the aforementioned traditional universities, some seniors will be attending colleges specific to enhancing and developing certain skill sets different than what is learned in a classroom environment. For example, one of the seniors will be attending the Juilliard School of Dance, Drama, and music in New York. The Juilliard School, while often not heard of, is one of the single best performing arts schools in the world and merits an acceptance rate of only 7% (the same as MIT, to put it in perspective). Another senior will be attending an advanced auto restoration program that deals with the repair, maintenance, and customization of rare and expensive cars (the type of cars that are showcased and owned by Jay Leno in his television series Jay Leno’s Garage). In addition, the class of 2017 will have more students enroll in the military than ever before in school history.

Other seniors may not be attending college and that is completely acceptable. Society often shuns those who do not go to college, even though it is just as valid of a path to take. Again, college does not define one’s future or character; one should merely follow their dream and wherever it takes them. The Jetstream Journal’s Jake Werner goes more in depth on the non-college route in his article for this edition.

However, this list of prestigious colleges could not have been created had the seniors not put unfathomable amounts of time, dedication, work, and money into their high school career. For years, what is now the senior class grinded through classes, assignments, tests, late night cram studying, SATs, ACTs, and more to accomplish what they have. Overall, the senior class compiled more than $10 million dollars in scholarship money to be able to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of them.

The future of the class of 2017 was not handed to them on a silver platter, it was earned through hard work and dedication. So long as each student follows their dream, there should not be a single regret. Good luck class of 2017.