Where Waterford High’s Class of 2012 Wound Up

A report by Waterford High School Guidance Director Kelly Shannon shows that Waterford's female graduates are more likely to go to four-year colleges than males; and fewer students are going to four-year colleges overall.

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%

Two-Year College/Tech/Career

Education/College Prep School

  22%   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.

Erin Paul January 01, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Anyways, my point is I hope the kids going to Three Rivers are being encouraged by the staff at WHS for their wise choices. I graduated in 2005, and recall community colleges not being "good enough" and the kids joining the military weren't quite as good as the rest of us "college-bound seniors". This may have been peer pressure rather than faculty, but either way I hope they are encouraging the students to save money and not to be swayed by the brand of a fancy university as the key to a good life. Life is what you make of it, it's not determined by the name on your degree! Best of luck to the class of 2013!
Harrison January 01, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Graduating seniors that choose to enter military service instread of going to college are more then "good enough". They are better then any honor student heading to the ivy leagues.
Erin Paul January 01, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Totally agree. The friends I've known in ROTC and other military programs are more hard-working and dedicated than the average student! I remember feeling surprised at the time by attitudes of the military being for lesser students. I hope that's changed or was something I felt from a small group of people who are no longer part of WHS.
Daniella Ruiz January 01, 2013 at 08:48 PM
when they graduate (what percentage will drop, change, work, or die at a beer party?), where will the jobs be for them? or will the state simply require people to get a 4 year education to drive a truck that collects trash? something like a professional used inventory management degree ;-)) maybe a continuing stint at the school as part of the ongoing education pyramid scheme, as they need more assistants and teachers to handle the incoming 'well endowed and loan rich' students with dreams of success and rosey colored glasses! maybe a counsellor at the soon to open addiction treatment facility, or a chemoagent therapist at the dazzling new farber cancer center? or get at town public works job, stay local, spend local, soak the locals ! and then run to florida on an 80 percent pension! yeah, that's the ticket!
Mark D. Wiggins January 02, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Can "military" not be lumped in with all of the other miscellaneous? Please? It is one of the wisest choices any HS grad can make: -4 years of steady income -Full health coverage -Life skills and teamwork skills -Job skills -Learn what you like to do and what you don't like to do before dropping 100k on a degree -Veteran status after your stint -GI Bill which will pretty much pays for your college (yes, they will still be there after 4 years) -Enter college (if you choose to) a little more mature and goal focused, something new HS grads often lack -Or, take your skills and begin a career I gave the USCG 20 years and it was the best thing I ever did wrt a career. I matured, gained many skills, met my wife, went places people pay big $$$ to go to, bachelor's and master's paid for and a pension and medical for life at the age of 40 and set me up for a great second career. Not bad. Most importantly however, I had the privilege of serving my country. Nothing even comes close to that when you talk about self-fullfilment. Just consider it, that is all I ask. It's four years (maybe more if you choose).


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