LIBERAL, Kan. — Halfway through the fall semester, seniors enrolled at Liberal High School are already looking ahead to next year. Admissions and advising staff from Seward County Community College showed up to lend a hand at Apply Kansas Day sponsored by the counselors at LHS.
If there’s anything the year 2020 has taught students and colleges, said SCCC Director of Admissions Eric Volden, it’s that uncertainty is the norm and options matter more than ever.
“I think a lot of graduating seniors are still struggling with the uncertainty about how things are going to play out over the next year,” he said. “We were encouraging them to fill out applications for colleges all over the place, just in case their initial plans didn’t work out. It’s good to have some options, and we were glad to be out there and help get them on the right track. ”
Around 50 LHS seniors participated in the event, which offered assistance with applications to multiple colleges in Kansas, help with financial aid paperwork, and morale-boosting. SCCC Director of Financial Aid Amy Bridenstine, student loan specialist Tammy Garth, and SCCC Advisor and Transfer Coordinator Shandon Classen joined Volden and outreach director Mike Bailey to work one-on-one with students.
“The students who showed up were pretty optimistic and eager,” said Volden. “They’re really dialed in to their goals.”
For his part, Volden said Apply Kansas was a welcome opportunity to meet with future Saints face-to-face, an aspect of his job that has been curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and school shutdowns.
“It was really nice being back in front of students and helping them with questions, making sure they are prepared and ready to roll,” he said.
As part of the statewide Apply Kansas initiative, Volden said, several school districts in the region plan to host similar events. If they do, he said, “we’ll be there.”