Soon-to-be grads to venture out. | ParkRecord.com

Soon-to-be grads to venture out.

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

Park City High School will send off 308 seniors Friday night. The class of 2007 is venturing further from home than what has been the trend for students to stay close to home in the past several years, according to PCHS councilor Joan Mills.

"This class is more widely distributed," she said, adding, "last year we had around 60 percent of students attending four-year instate schools. This year it is 39 percent."

On May 22 and 23, questionnaires were distributed to seniors to compile data on among other criteria, career objectives, two or four-year-schools, in-state or out- of-state, whether students plan to attend out-of state schools they have been accepted at, and numbers of graduates joining the Armed Services.

Mills said in the past several years’ students have declined some out-of-state schools that had accepted them in favor of in-state schools. She said that the primary reasons were financed and wanting to be closer to family. But she said, also a number of students said, ‘I just love it here. I love to ski, I love the activities, and that’s why I’m going to the U.’ (University of Utah). She added while a number of those students intended to get graduate degrees out-of-state, many said they wanted to return to Utah to live following college. She added that local unemployment is low and jobs are plentiful.

Mills said that "unusual circumstances likely contributed to the higher number of out-of-state students. "Some athletes signed at out-of-state schools. Some students got good scholarships out-of-state," she said. "A few students have parents who are professors at out-of -state schools."

According to the data compiled by the PCHS Guidance Department, 70 percent of students plan to attend four-year colleges. Fourteen percent will attend two-year schools. Eighty-four percent were accepted by their first choice school.

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Mills sees a noticeable decline in graduates joining the Armed Forces. Three students this year, five last year, and three or four joining each branch of the service a number of years back, she said.

Not all graduates are planning to attend college, or at least not immediately. Thirteen students said they want to travel before college. Three students plan to begin work following graduation. Six expect to attend cosmetology school, two massage school. One student wants to attend a culinary school. One is going on a mission. Another will do a film internship. Two students expect to attend auto/motorcycle repair/design school, according to the Guidance Department results.

Mills, who will be part of the graduation ceremonies, is retiring as a counselor at the same time. She is excited for the new graduates and for her future.

"I wish them all the best. They’ve had a great education here. Whatever they choose to do they’re well prepared for academic life and for the workforce.

As for Mills, she plans to take a year to enjoy life, volunteer, and visit with friends before getting serious about a new career.