By Madi Brenner
College choices are on the horizon as Bozeman High School seniors search for their best college fit.
Montana State University is ranked as the number one university in Montana according to 4 International Colleges and Universities, an organization that reviews colleges from all around the world.
But being a Bobcat at Montana State University seems to be frowned upon by the Bozeman High School student body.
Sheri Blackwood, a counselor here at BHS, agrees with this statement and says “it’s always kinda been the tradition… that kids don’t want to stay at home and feel like MSU is a ‘less than’ kind of school.”
Blackwood adds that “even though we have a great school here a lot of kids don’t think of that as an option because they want to get away from home.”
Blackwood feels that for many students, the decision to stay in Bozeman would be the smartest decision and would align better with their academic goals. However the desire of high school graduates to leave home and become independent is powerful and can cause them to neglect MSU.
In many cases, Blackwood has noticed that “for a lot of our kids MSU is a better fit for what they want to study [but students will choose other colleges] because they don’t want to stay at home.”
She says she has also noticed that some students who have made the decision to go to MSU may be swayed later in the year to change their mind due to the influence of fellow student’s decision to go out of state.
At the end of last year, 136 transcripts were sent to MSU for enrollment. Since then 10-15 more transcripts have been sent. That means there are about 150 Bozeman High students enrolled in MSU from last year’s graduating class. Compared to almost 500 students in that graduating senior class, this is an insignificant number.
Senior Kelsey Thiem says she plans to go out of state because she wants to be in a new environment and meet new people.
“I do not think it is cool to go to MSU because I want to get out of this town where I grew up,” says Thiem, who has applied to Feather River College in Quincy, California and Odessa College in Odessa, Texas.
Senior Julia Zidack, on the other hand, is applying to MSU.
Zidack explains that MSU is a good fit for her and what she is looking for, and it’s a bonus to get in-state tuition.
Zidack concludes by saying “I don’t think that it’s not cool [to go to MSU].”
BHS alumni Tanner Butterfield is now a junior studying elementary education at MSU.
“I chose MSU because of the great education department… I don’t regret staying in state at all–it has saved me a lot of money in the long run,” says Butterfield.
Butterfield also added that she really enjoys being close to her family.
Although attending MSU gets varying reviews from the student body, most BHS students still seem to think that it is odd to stay in their hometown–even if it is the most practical decision.
By Madi Brenner