According to a report written by Guidance Director Kelly Shannon, Waterford High School’s Class of 2012 featured more women attending four-year colleges than men, with more students overall choosing two-year colleges or not going to college at all than in previous years.
The report showed that 60 percent of Waterford High School graduates from the class of 2012 planned on going to a four-year college, a five-year low. For comparison, 67 percent of graduates from Waterford High School’s Class of 2009 went to four-year colleges, and the percentage has dropped every year since.
Conversely, 25 percent of graduates from Waterford High School’s Class of 2012 were planning on attending a two-year college or go into a career-training program, the highest percentage in at least five years. Shannon said the reason for the trend is the economy, as students and their families are being more financially mindful of their decisions than in previous years.
“The majority of matriculation decisions (i.e., the decision on where to go to college) are based on financial need,” Shannon wrote in the report.
Additionally, more women in the Class of 2012 were planning on attending four-year universities than men, according to the report. That was reflected in the SAT numbers, as 85 percent of 2012 female Waterford graduates took the test, compared to 70 percent of male graduates, and females scored higher than males on the test. That follows a national trend.
“Perhaps that is an area we can look at, increasing that number for boys,” Shannon told the Board of Education in December.
The report showed that 220 students graduated from Waterford High School in 2012. Of that group, 60 percent, or 132 students, were planning on attending a four-year university, 25 percent, or 55 students, were planning on attending a two-year university and the remaining 15 percent, or 33 students, were planning on going into the military, going into employment or were undecided.Categories 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Number of Graduates 221 223 220 251 220 Four-Year College 66% 67% 66% 64% 60%
Education/College Prep School22% 23% 20% 24% 25% Military, Employment, Undecided 12% 10% 14% 12% 15%
Of the 187 students planning on attending a two-year or four-year college, 44 were planning on attending Three Rivers Community College, by far the most popular choice. Another 22 students were planning on attending the University of Connecticut, with seven more saying they were going to the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, eight said they were going to Western Connecticut State University, six to Eastern Connecticut State University, five to Keene State College, five to Quinnipiac University and four to to Johnson & Wales University.
Of the students going to college, only 49 percent – or less than half – said they were going to a school in Connecticut. The remaining 51 percent of graduates were planning on going to a school outside of Connecticut, an unusual statistic, Shannon said.
Shannon believed this happened because Connecticut’s schools are becoming increasingly more expensive. Meanwhile, other schools in New England are becoming cheaper by comparison, she said.
Also, Shannon noted that students who were planning on going to two-year colleges were not necessarily aiming only for an Associates Degree. In her report, she said that many students were considering a two-year college a “first step” in getting their education, and then moving onto a four-year school, as a cheaper way to earn a four-year degree.
The report showed that in Waterford’s Class of 2012, female graduates were more likely to take the SAT and score higher on it than their male counterparts, with SAT scores in math up but SAT scores in reading and writing at five-year lows.
Overall, Waterford’s Class of 2012 had a combined mean score of 1,541 (SAT tests are now out of 2,400), which is 10th in Waterford’s District Reference Group (DRG). Overall, 78 percent of Waterford High School 2012 graduates took the SAT, with 85 percent of female graduates taking the test and 70 percent of males.
Waterford females outscored their male counterparts in both the reading and writing sections of the test, with the genders fairing equally in the math section. Overall, the Class of 2012 posted a 510 average score in reading, a five-year low, a 523 average score in math, the second-highest total in five years, and a 508 average score in writing, which was tied for a five-year low.