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High School principal observes increase in state-university enrollment

Cape Elizabeth High School will be sending more students to state universities than usual in the fall of 2019.

Principal Jeff Shedd reported his observation at the June 11, 2019 School Board meeting, saying he noticed what may be a trend while preparing for the annual celebration of the year's graduating class. "There's an awful lot of students who are going to state universities – Maine universities (and) non-Maine universities – state universities where they can get a great education," he said.

It's only one year's datapoint, Shedd said, and he didn't know if it meant anything, but he did have some ideas. "I think part of this is probably financially driven and being very practical, and perhaps being a little less focused on college rankings and perceived prestige and name-brand schools and that sort of thing," he said.

"And one of the things that fascinated me is we have 12 students going to Southern Maine Community College this year." The number going on to the two-year school has increased in recent years, Shedd said, but this year's is a big jump, something he called a "huge practical step" for graduates.

"Some of them will get certificates in various trades in addition to their associate's degree, some of them may take that as a stepping stone to a 4-year college and getting a degree elsewhere," he said. "Kids can leave college probably as relatively debt-free as they can and ... get a better head start," Shedd said.