Student Testimonial: Celia

Choosing to participate in the Pennsylvania Highlands Associate Degree program in high school was the best decision for furthering my future. Like many people, we were skeptical of such a perfect opportunity being offered at our school, but we took a chance on it. Many people warned us not to do it: they said that schools wouldn’t take the credits, that it was too expensive, and that it just wasn’t worth it. These assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth.

We viewed this program as a way to set me up for the future, no matter what I decided to do. It was comforting knowing that after high school ended, I would be set up with an actual degree, improving my outlook for jobs and salary. It’s no lie, earning an associate degree in high school looks good on resumes and applications, both for colleges and careers, and shows a capability that sets you apart from other applicants. Aside from this obvious benefit, I was also exposed to a wide variety of different courses that opened my eyes to what I could truly do. This also gave me an advantage over my peers once I moved on to higher education; not only did I come into college knowing how college classes work, how professors communicate, and what is expected of you at this level, but I also got all of my general education courses out of the way so that I could truly customize my schedule to be major-specific and interesting to me.

It’s true that the cost upfront can look like a lot, but having now been in college I can confidently say that college after high school is much, much more expensive. In fact, I ended up saving over $56,000 on college by cutting two years off my time at a four-year university (if I hadn’t received scholarships, I would be saving over $82,000). This was possible because Saint Francis University accepted all 63 of my credits, including transfer credits from Mount Aloysius. I am now 19, graduating with honors two years ahead of time with a bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences, looking for a full-time job while I work on getting my master’s degree. I’m catapulting my career in ways that I never imagined possible, and it is all due to the flexibility and insight that the Penn Highlands program afforded me.

-Class of 2022