Thanks Waco Voters – for Recognizing our Potential and Investing in our Future!
by Kaleigh Huser
As a junior in high school, I am sorting through those “next step” questions about what type of career I will pursue and where I will attend college. When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher; I also considered marine biology. As of today, I have abandoned the idea of becoming a professional violinist, but you never know. I very much enjoy theatre and music, and while I can’t say for sure where my interests will lead, I know that I am going to college. I have always known that even if it means drowning in student loans… college is my future. Thanks to Waco voters, I don’t have to worry as much about the student loans. With the approval of the Tax Ratification Election (TRE) I can enroll in classes that will allow me to earn college credit while in high school at no cost to me or my mother.
Prior to this year, high school juniors and seniors were limited to two dual credit classes per semester. The Texas Legislature passed new laws that lifted the limits on the number of dual credit classes a high school student can take and opened up dual credit for underclassmen. This means that incoming freshmen can even get an associate’s degree while in high school should they chose to do so.
I like the structure of the dual credit classes. Expectations are clear, and we are getting experience with college systems. I use Blackboard for notes, grades, handouts, projects, and pretty much everything. I don’t use my planner anymore, because it is all on my phone. When I am talking to my friends who go to school at University of Texas, it feels good to know that I am doing a lot of the same things that they are. When I get there, I will be better prepared thanks to the dual credit experience.
While some high school students qualified for a tuition waiver, my family and many others paid the full MCC tuition. Financial aid is not available for high school students, so taking a full slate of courses can become very expensive over the four years of high school. Next year, I plan to take three to four dual credit classes each semester, which will equal almost three thousand dollars over the school year. With the tuition waiver for all Waco ISD students, I can take the classes without worrying about the financial pressure, and I will enter college with 24 to 30 hours already paid for. If I go to UT, a year of tuition is $9, 346. We are so blessed to have this opportunity! I have friends who do not attend school in Waco ISD, and they are attending the same dual credit classes that I am. They are responsible for tuition, which sometimes limits their options.
If you voted to have your taxes raised or worked to get the TRE passed, thank you for your generosity. I am not just speaking for myself when I say we are honored that you recognized our potential and voted to invest in our future.
Kaleigh Huser is a junior at Waco High School. She is an active member of the Theatre Company, Show Choir, A Capella choir, National Honor Society, and Advanced Academics Student Advisory Board and she plays the violin. Kaleigh is ranked among the top five students in her class, and she spends every waking hour at Waco High or working on projects for classes at Waco High.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.
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