By STEPHANIE WAGNER
ALPHARETTA – Alpharetta High School seniors are ready to graduate in spring 2013 and they have plans to attend top Southeastern Conference colleges, including the University of Georgia, University of South Carolina and Vanderbilt University.
According to some high school seniors, they apply to these colleges because they want to be a part of a larger campus. Many of them also plan to participate in sports in college.
Sandi Schodowski is a senior at Alpharetta High School. She is on the school varsity football and competition cheer team.
“I would like to cheer in college,” Schodowski said.
The main college Schodowski applied to is the University of Georgia; she did this because it is one of the top colleges in Georgia.
Like Schodowski, Austin Edquist is a senior at Alpharetta High School and she cheers on the school’s varsity football and competition team. The colleges Edquist applied to include the University of Georgia, University of South Carolina and Vanderbilt University, based upon their prestige, availability of her major, location and campus life.
“I wanted a larger campus; also I want to cheer in college and would prefer to do it at a school that has more sports involvement,” Edquist said.
According to various university websites, in 2012 the University of Georgia had 4,970 first-year students enrolled and a total of 33,367 student enrolled; the University of South Carolina had 3,021 first-year students and a total of 30,721 enrolled; finally Vanderbilt University had 1,608 first-year students and a total of 12,859 students enrolled. The bigger the college, the more interest it generates.
With attending SEC colleges being the main priority for Alpharetta High School seniors, other non-SEC colleges may suffer. Schools like Kennesaw State University, a non-SEC school, may be at a disadvantage competing with SEC schools. The total of first-year students was not found on KSU’s website, but in 2012, it had a total of 24,100 students enrolled.
KSU has a larger population of students than Vanderbilt University, however, with Vanderbilt University being an SEC school, it receives greater attention than KSU and Alpharetta High School seniors know more about Vanderbilt than they do about KSU.
“I did not apply to Kennesaw State University, because I do not know too much about the school and the programs that it offers,” Schodowski said.
With Kennesaw State University not receiving the recognition of a SEC college, enrollment for fall 2013 may not be as high as expected, which will affect the university financially. Fewer students for the college mean less money; this will put a hole in the budget the school planned for the fall of 2013. This in turn could put current students at a disadvantage, leaving them with higher fees and tuition.
Without receiving expected funds, KSU will not be able to hire more professors, nor be able to afford higher caliber ones. Campus buildings would also be affected, because KSU would not be able to make improvements if it does not receive needed funds.