I want to commend the Sun Journal for its series on Following the Freshmen, and thank the students profiled in that series for being so willing to share their experiences.
Maine has a strong high school graduation rate, but a below-average rate for college attendance. In Androscoggin County, only 16 percent of working-age adults hold a four-year college degree.
While there are many ways in which those without higher education add value to their jobs and to their communities, today’s economy increasingly requires some education beyond high school. Students tell us that what they most want is to be able to chart their own destiny – and they will be best-positioned to do that if they continue their education beyond high school.
For the Sun Journal to take on the task of demystifying the college experience is a tremendous service to our students. As a resident of Minot, I see a lot of terrific young people who tell me they are excited about their future – but, at the same time, nervous about trying something new. The series by the Sun Journal takes a big step in the right direction of introducing students and families to what college is like. And it has the courage to show those real experiences – balancing academics and other interests, drinking and other social pressures, having to work to make ends meet financially – so that readers have a true look at the college experience.
Colleen Quint, executive director, The Mitchell Institute,