As parents and teachers prepare for another school year, high school grads are preparing for a completely new experience: college. For the 525 seniors that graduated from Shakopee High School, it means new challenges, new friends and a new home.
“More than three quarters of our graduates will go on to college this fall,” Shakopee High School Counselor Mike Jensen said. Since Shakopee has no college in the city, students will have to travel for higher education. Jensen said the most popular colleges students attend include Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park, Normandale Community College in Bloomington and the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.
“We make sure that our students know the importance of a solid college education,” Jensen said. “A lot of our students have already taken college level courses so they are prepared for challenging classes.”
Jensen organizes campus tours and college fairs so every student is exposed to several college options. “We help students any way we can,” Jensen said. “We want students to get the message loud and clear that college is an important step in their lives.”
For some that next step will be the University of Minnesota. Director of Admissions for the U of M, Wayne Sigler said students from Shakopee have shown they have what it takes to get into the state’s flagship university.
“We are a highly competitive school that looks to serve the entire state and beyond,” Sigler said. This fall, Sigler and his staff received about 36,700 freshman applications. Of those, about 18,000 will be accepted and about 5,300 incoming students will actually pick the university as their top choice.
“We don’t have a formula for accepting students, we look at the applicant as a whole,” he said. “Test scores and grade point averages are important, but we consider many other factors as we review applications.”
About 60-65 percent of the students at the University of Minnesota are from this state, which Sigler said is a priority.
“We are here to serve Minnesota students first and foremost,” he said. “We take a look at the students high school record and the resources available to them at that school and we expect all students to take full advantage of rigorous challenges offered at their high school.”
Jensen said the district works hard to prepare students for higher education and continues to strive for an even high college placement rate in the future.
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