Early Admissions affects West Shore in unexpected ways

With more students doing Early Admissions or Dual Enrollment each year, West Shore’s senior class is getting even smaller. The upcoming senior class will have 70 enrolled students at Eastern Florida State College. Of these, 34 students will be Early Admitting while 36 students will be Dual Enrolled. This is the largest number in West Shore’s history.

“Those students doing Early Admissions still occupy a spot at West Shore,” guidance clerk Dixie Thompson said. “We can’t predict or plan for students who want to participate at EFSC, so new students who want to attend West Shore can’t attend because Early Admitted students hold that spot.”

West Shore’s rankings have dropped in U.S. News and World report from 48th last year to 80th this year. This drop in rankings can be attributed to the number of students doing Early Admissions at Eastern Florida State College.

“Rankings are based off the percentage of seniors that pass AP tests. This kills us because we have lots of kids taking AP tests and passing before senior year. We lose a big chunk of the senior class to Early Admissions, obviously making the rankings drop,” testing coordinator Mike Drake said. “The school district gets money based off how many students attend our school. The more students that are lost to Early Admissions, the more money the school loses, therefore we are forced to lay off teachers.”

Students typically start their course for Early Admissions either their sophomore or junior year, hoping to graduate with their Associate of Arts degree (AA).

“The trend is that Early Admitted students have increased since the last year, this year and next year,” Drake said. “Students want to graduate with their first two years of college complete, by getting their AA, so it’s becoming more and more popular.”

Next year’s 34 Early Admitting students is a considerable increase from years past.

“I only needed one more credit to graduate, English,” junior Angela Ahern said. “I wanted to be efficient my senior year and didn’t want to have to take a bunch of electives. Early Admitting at EFSC  will allow me to get college credit for all the classes that I plan on taking there, making my senior year worthwhile.”

The Class of 2014 had only 21 seniors do Early Admissions. Students have different reasons for Early Admitting: some are getting jobs and going to make the most of their Fridays off, others for financial purposes.

“I can’t wait to start Early Admissions next year,” junior Grace Alcock said. “I only needed to take a couple classes to fulfill West Shores graduation requirements. It is going to save my family a lot of money because the school pays for EFSC classes you take while attending West Shore. Not only that, but I will have more time in the afternoons and my Fridays off, so I can get a job.”

As more students start Dual Enrolling at a younger age, the number of students Early Admitting their senior year is only going to increase each year.

“I’ve done Dual Enrollment since tenth grade,” junior Claire Rauchfuss said. “At first I was really nervous about going to EFSC at a young age and was worried if I could manage the intensity of college classes. Now I absolutely love that I took them as a sophomore; I really feel like it is going to prepare me for college. I will also be able to graduate with my Associate of Arts degree, so my first two years of general college classes will be done. It was definatly worth it.”