ByJesse Hausknecht-Brown, Natalie Dunlap, Marta Leira, Kailey Gee and Alex Carlon |
Looking back, Jazsime Vanpelt wishes she could have done her freshman and sophomore years differently. Checking her grades multiple times a day, loading too many extracurriculars onto her schedule and unnecessary pressure to do well in school created stress and anxiety in and outside of the classroom. Jazsime Vanpelt, Iowa City High School student (Photo by Jhakyra Banister)
The pressure wasn’t from Vanpelt’s parents. She did it to herself, the Iowa City High School senior said. “I would like to freak out if my grades went down, even a little bit,” Vanpelt, 17, said.
Making good grades is but one of several pressures high school students interviewed for a new IowaWatch High School journalism project said.
The word “college” stresses many high school students, whether or not their resume has enough activities on it, if they have a high enough ACT score, the change of living on their own, or when their applications are due.
And, because someone — them, their families — has to pay for it.
“It makes me feel bad and burdensome because I know that my parents are really stressed about money in general, and I know they want to support me,” Marina Beachy, a senior at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman, said in an IowaWatch high school journalism project about pressure Iowa high school students face. Pressure when picking a college came up often in that project, conducted in the first three months of 2020 by student journalists at City and West High schools in Iowa City working with their teachers and IowaWatch. Money is a big reason for the stress. ABOUT THIS PROJECT
High School Pressure is an IowaWatch High School journalism collaboration with the award-winning Iowa City high school newpapers The Little Hawk and West Side Story, at City High School and West High School, respectively. Journalists who produced this project, working with IowaWatch’s Lyle Muller and their journalism teachers, were:
Natalie Dunlap, West HighMarta Leira, West HighAlex Carlon, West HighKailey Gee, West HighShoshanna Hemley, City HighJesse Hausknecht-Brown, City HighNina Lavezzo-Stecopoulos, City HighJulianne Berry-Stoelzle, City High
Teachers assisting in this project are Sara Whittaker, West High School, and Jonathan Rogers, City High.This project was supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of Johnson County.
The projected sticker price for Iowans wanting to attend a private college or university in-state will exceed $60,000 annually by 2024-25 at nine private Iowa schools and 10 the following school year in 2025-26, The Hechinger Report projected after studying tuition and cost-of-living trends for higher education institutions nationwide via Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data. Our report includes a podcast.
Q: What did you spend on textbooks this semester? Cody West: This semester, I spent $74.50 for one English textbook and it appears about $270 in course delivery fees… I also had a $81.49 textbook. Cody West, 21
Iowa State University
Spring 2018 senior
Hometown: Altoona, Iowa
Q: Most expensive book:
West: Oh goodness. I want to say that my freshman year my biology book with the access code to do my biology homework was about $220. Q: How often do you use your textbooks?
Q: How much did you spend for all of your textbooks? Clarice Kies: I only had to purchase hard copy books. I think that the total was like, $179 for this semester. Clarice Kies, 22
Spring 2018 graduating senior
Hometown: LaMotte, Iowa
Q: Which was the most expensive. Kies: That would probably be my grant-writing book, or Proposal Writing, which was about $21.
Q: How much did you pay for all textbooks, hard copy and e-textbooks, this semester? Lucas Smith: I paid $350 for all my books. Lucas Smith, 21
Spring 2018 senior
William Penn University
Hometown: Sully, Iowa
Major: Sports and Recreation management
Q: What was your most expensive book, and how much did it cost? The most expensive book was Sports Law and I believe it cost around $200. Q: How often do you use your textbooks?
Q: How many books do you have in circulation right now? Erin VanLaningham: Circulation… If we’re counting books, so I’ll use primary books like novels and things like that. Probably per class, six. But those are six novels. Q: Do you like to keep it to six?