Updated 11:23 a.m., Oct. 29
“It seemed like college was guaranteed, and that was something I had to do,” said Alex Simmons.
Not all kids like South Oak Cliff High School senior and student-athlete Alex Simmons are sold on going to college. Today, he sat with fellow classmates as Harvard University president Drew Faust spelled out the benefits of receiving a higher education.
“In 2011, a typical college graduate was not only more likely to find a job than a high school graduate, but also made $21,000 more…” Faust said.
For nearly 45 minutes, she implored students to look at the overall value of going to college, even challenging them to think beyond the limitations like costs.
Simmons says after hearing Faust, he’s willing to accept that challenge.
“I actually will consider Harvard a little more now, considering their financial-aid program,” said Simmons.
“I believe college is more important than ever,” said Faust.
Charles Jones, who attends Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, now plans on taking a second look at Harvard, too.
“Now, I’ve added Harvard as a prospect because I’ve heard, even though the legacy of a prestigious school and they’re Ivy League, I never really considered it because I didn’t know they had the major that I wanted to go in[to].”
Jennifer Simon, a counselor at SOC, says proving the case for college with student-athletes is paramount.
“They’re more than just an athlete; they’re 80 percent a student and 20 percent athlete. They can’t get anywhere without an education.”
About a dozen Dallas ISD schools were represented during Faust’s discussion. In the end, she took a few questions from the audience where she left the door of opportunity open to anyone who would listen.