As part of College Application Month, Senator Coons met with thirty students from Mount Pleasant High School on Friday to discuss the importance of a college degree and how to go about choosing the right college.
College Application Month is a nationwide effort to assist high school seniors in the college application process and increase college attendance. Special focus is placed on first-generation college students or those who otherwise may not have considered applying to college. The program is coordinated locally by the Delaware Department of Education and the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware.
“We just came through a very tough recession,” said Chris. “Unemployment amongst those with a college education was dramatically lower. Lifetime earnings are also dramatically higher if you have a college education – individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average more than $1 million more throughout their careers than those with only a high school degree.”
Attentive students fired off questions to Senator Coons about his career path, education in Delaware, and his advice for making the most of their college experiences.
Chris particularly stressed the importance of students completing their studies once they get to campus. “The worst case scenario is to go off to college having not really thought it through, not having a solid foundation, not having clarity about how you’re going to finish. You start, do two or three years, rack up a lot of debt and drop out. Do not do this. That’s buying a house you never get to live in.”
Chris concluded his visit with a college application workshop for a small group of students. During the session, Chris counseled the students on a range of considerations – from Gilbert Peralta, a promising baseball player who is looking to continue his baseball career in college, to Tah-Jay McLaughlin and Ernie Lowden, who are looking for colleges that not only offer the courses of study they are interested in, but also fit them personally.
Senator Coons is committed to helping increase the number of low-income and at-risk students able to access and complete a college education. He is the lead sponsor of the bipartisan American Dream Accounts Act, a bill to authorize the Department of Education to award three-year competitive grants for innovative and comprehensive partnerships that help low-income students prepare for a college education.