Not only is Madison County High School graduating more students, it appears that more are seeking enrollment in college.
Based on the number of transcripts being sent to two- and four-year institutions, 80 percent of Madison County High School graduates are pursuing post-secondary education.
Counselor Brittan Ayers said that’s the highest percentage she’s seen in her 10 years in the MCHS guidance office.
“I’ve seen it slowly creep up,” Ayers said. “It’s definitely at an all-time high for my tenure here.”
Madison County High School — whose 70.3 graduation rate is the highest in school history — hosted a college day this past Friday in the MCHS gym. Twenty colleges sent representatives to talk with prospective students in the first Madison County High School event of this scale.
“We had 20 tables; all of them were full,” Ayers said.
The school has no official data on how many students end up attending colleges, but based on those projections, 30 percent of its graduates are going on to four-year schools while 50 percent are going to two-year institutions.
Most Madison County graduates going to two-year schools are attending nearby Athens Tech or Gainesville State in abundance.
“Both of those, we’re wearing them out,” Ayers said.
As for four-year schools, Ayers said Madison County sends its fair share to the University of Georgia, though it’s growing increasingly tougher for students to gain admission. She noted that the SAT averages for UGA freshmen last were 1,263 on critical reading and math alone.
“UGA has gotten so competitive, that of our students who apply, those who get in, we’re doing good,” Ayers said.
Thanks to an $8,000 regional grant, Madison County High School intends to blitz parents and students with information this year regarding postsecondary education.
For example, Madison County High School will host a series of parent workshops over the college application and financial aid processes.
There are six this semester.
MCHS is also exploring new avenues to push its college-bound message, generating its own newsletter and enewsletter and opening a Facebook site.
Of course, school leaders are targeting students the old-fashioned way too. In addition to the college day MCHS hosted, the grant money will allow the school to take students on 10 college visits this year.
By this time next year, MCHS should be able to determine how many of its graduates actually land in college. As part of grant, MCHS is automatically entered into a national clearing house which reports where graduates enroll.
“That’s a big part of this grant is that we’ll be able to get more accurate information,” Ayers said.
Ayers said the goal is to continue to drive up MCHS’s college-going rate up.
“You want to get it on to 100 percent,” she said. “In today’s society, it’s really hard if you don’t have training beyond high school to be competitive in the work force.”