The end of high school marks an exciting new chapter in Ferndale High School graduates’ lives. Some will continue their education, either locally or as far away as the East Coast. Others will jump right into a career or join the U.S. military.
For those FHS graduates planning to attend college or university after graduating on June 10, many will receive significant financial assistance. As of late May, the reported scholarship total was approximately $525,000 for all graduates. And the actual total could be more than $600,000, while students continue to receive awards, according to Hassan Abdulrazek from FHS’ Career Center.
Out of the 161 graduating FHS seniors who have reported their higher-education plans, the vast majority – just over 75% – plan to stay in state. And nearly half of those 161 seniors plan to stay in Whatcom County. The three most popular college choices for FHS seniors were all just a short drive away on I-5: 29 seniors plan to attend Whatcom Community College, 28 plan to attend Western Washington University, and 21 plan to attend Bellingham Technical College. Two more seniors are expecting to enroll at Northwest Indian College in the Lummi Nation.
There are 42 FHS seniors who plan to stay in-state but want to venture a little further from home. Most of them plan to attend the state’s two flagship universities, the University of Washington and Washington State University. A handful opted for other Washington universities and colleges: a few students each at Gonzaga University and Skagit Valley College, and one senior at Evergreen Beauty College in Everett.
The second-most popular state for FHS seniors’ college plans wasn’t in the northwest, but Arizona. Ten students plan to attend Arizona State University, the University of Arizona or Grand Canyon University. Seven other seniors also plan to swap the northwest’s drizzle for the southwest’s scorching heat, with commitments to the Dominican University of California, San Diego State University, the University of New Mexico, and Utah Tech University (formerly known as Dixie State University).
Not every FHS senior planning to attend an out-of-state university is running towards the desert, however. Fifteen soon-to-be-graduates expect to stay in the northwest, attending Boise State University, Montana State University, Oregon State University, the universities of Idaho and Oregon, and Western Oregon University. And three FHS seniors plan to travel across the country to continue their education, with one student each at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, respectively.
Two FHS seniors plan to travel north of the border for their university of choice in British Columbia: Capilano University and Simon Fraser University.
However, college isn’t the chosen next step for many FHS seniors this year: 37 seniors have told the high school they plan to join the U.S. military after graduating. And 38 more seniors have declared their intentions to immediately join the workforce.
Congratulations, seniors – we are so proud of you and can’t wait to hear about your future accomplishments!