How Salina South High School students are getting ready for higher education

Preparing for college is a student’s greatest challenge in high school. They must prepare academically, emotionally, and most importantly, financially. Emotion or academics don’t matter if you can’t afford to attend. 

But, despite financial needs to afford college being the largest factor of preparation, it seems to be a large struggle for some students. 

There are many ways to pay for college: student loans, scholarships, military, etc. However, students at Salina South High School each take their own approach.  

Survey of 78 students. (Francisco Guardado)

Tripodium has gathered four students, each with different backgrounds, to uncover their preparation for college.


While some students are struggling to find methods to pay for higher education, other’s don’t have to worry about affording college. 

Freshman Davin Miller has three full years left to prepare for college. He plans to attend out-of-state and is interested in meteorology. 

Leaving your state for higher education automatically increases prices, but Miller has one major factor that could relieve his financial burden. 

“My mom is possibly paying for my college; it’s kind of stress relieving,” Miller said. 

However, he still plans to apply for scholarships and student loans in order to pay for his higher education. 



Like Miller, senior Adrian Aranda has little to worry about when he graduates this May. 

To prepare for college, Aranda has taken dual-enrollment courses since his junior year. Through the process he will have earned his associate’s degree in Applied Business through Kansas State University Salina by the time he graduates. 

“I definitely do recommend others to take dual enrollment classes. You get a feel of what college classes, professors, and being on campus will be like before being a full time college student. Not only that, but now I have a two year head start,” Aranda said.

Since dual-enrollment classes are cheaper, he will have less of a financial worry since he is steps ahead in his higher education. 

This fall Aranda will attend Kansas Wesleyan University. 


Scholarships and student loans are usual routes students take when trying to pay for their education, but for senior Reese Kimmi, it’s the only route she can take. 

Senior Reese Kimmi opens Chromebook to begin applying for scholarships and student loans. “No one else is helping me pay for college, so I have to apply for loans,” Kimmi said. (Jose Garcia)

Kimmi has already received an $11,000 scholarship to attend Kansas Wesleyan University to study criminal justice. 

Unlike Miller, Kimmi is on her own when it comes to paying for college. 

“I plan to get scholarships to take care of everything without going into debt,” Kimmi said. 

However, despite the scholarship Kimmi still has $7,000 left to pay. She plans to handle this through student loans which isn’t going to be easy for her. 

“I feel deranged, I don’t even know how to get loans,” Kimmi said. 

She plans to work to pay off the student loans, but the burden doesn’t stop there. Despite the college being in her hometown, she is forced to live on campus, 

“If I lived off campus, I wouldn’t have direct access to food or other necessities,” Kimmi said. 


Working hard for college is not uncommon for  sophomore Callie Vargas. She plans to enlist in the military and apply for scholarships. Although Vargas has a couple of years left to prepare for college, she is still a little worried about the cost. 

Headshot of sophomore Callie Vargas. (Jose Garcia)

Vargas plans to go to any college that has a bowling and a veterinary program, but is still uncertain about what specific college to attend.

To prepare, one of Vargas plans is to work towards sports scholarships. 

“I’m going out for as many tournaments as I can, and I’m going to nationals in June,” Vargas said. 

She also plans to pay for higher education through the military. 

“It just makes it easier to pay,” Vargas said in regards to the why she plans to pursue the military. 

She doesn’t plan to stay too long in the military because she wants to start a bit of her college education before she enlists. 

“I plan to go to college first before the military. It’s my first priority.” Vargas said.


Students at Salina South are taking different approaches when preparing for college. However, they all have a goal of completing a higher education. While financial costs remain a persistent barrier to some, they continue to strive to overcome it.


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