A Students’ Guide to In-State Colleges


Glenn J. Asakawa

Landscapes such as the University of Colorado Boulder campus are available to AAHS students looking to attend a four-year college. Labeled for reuse by Wikimedia Commons

As graduation for Air Academy seniors continues to draw nearer, more and more AAHS juniors are left with the seemingly daunting task of selecting the right four-year college for their future after high school.

Although colleges across the country are made available to Air Academy students, many choose to look towards in-state and surrounding state colleges that will prepare them for the rest of the 21st century.

Countless guides and advice columns regarding advice for high school students looking to attend a four year college have been published, however, many of these articles have been critiqued to be biased towards a particular school, major, or demographic, thus failing to provide high school students with an accurate depiction of the world of in-state college selections.

Not only are four-year colleges made readily available to Air Academy students in particular, the CareerStart program led by Pikes Peak Community College in partnership with Air Academy counselors Sean Brotherton and Dr. Eric Beers is geared towards providing students with ample opportunity to pursue an Associate’s degree in a field of trade.

Academy District 20 has made the CareerStart program accessible to students by essentially paying all tuition costs for Air Academy students to attend classes in auto body, interior design, welding, and many more trades and skills aimed towards developing a career for students across AAHS and District 20 as a whole.

As more and more colleges across the country continue to center around one specific major or field (Colorado School of Mines and the Engineering program), many students are led to seek out an alternative where a multitude of majors are made available, allowing incoming freshmen to explore their career options over their four-year college experience.

College and Career Counselor Dr. Eric Beers has advised a great deal of students debating their college options during his tenure at Air Academy High School, and commented, “Do your research and make sure the colleges you are applying to, and going to attend, has what you want to study.”

Although an endless amount of information regarding everything a high school student needs to know about making an informed decision to attend a four-year college, including tuition costs, living situations, and more details concerning the logistics of attending a college, Beers believes the smaller things involved with attending a four-year university are equally important to incoming college freshmen.

Beers commented, “Don’t be afraid to get involved and do something new at your college. Try a club you weren’t brave enough to try in high school, try a class you aren’t sure about. Living on campus, you can be as busy or as isolated as you want to be.”

It’s with these opportunities and information made available to Air Academy students that the decision over whether to attend a four-year college, especially in the state of Colorado, is made much easier for the common high school student.