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Principal urges students to apply to college in order to graduate from El Paso’s Franklin High School

The campus of El Paso's Franklin High School.
The campus of El Paso's Franklin High School.

EL PASO, Texas -- A unique program at Franklin High School encourages students to apply to at least three universities before they are allowed to walk with their graduating class to receive a diploma.

Shaun Mena, the principal at Franklin, started this program two years ago. The policy, though, is not a requirement.

Her hope was to push seniors to apply to multiple colleges in order to experience the process.

Some students, however, disagree with this policy.

Franklin sophomore Diego Rangel said, "If I'm being honest, I don't think its fair because I don't think everybody is going to go to college. I think everybody has a different path they want to take."

Many parents defend the concept.

"Well, I think its a good idea," said Jon Salcido, the parent of both a Franklin graduate and a current Franklin freshman. "It gets that discussion going with the families and students about their futures. Giving them options, possibilities and having to sit down and discuss what schools am I interested in. Do I have a chance to attend?"

According to the El Paso Independent School District, encouraging the college applications could open future opportunities for students who may not have known what was available to them in the collegiate world,

"We recognize not everyone is going to higher ed. You know there are a lot of options for students. Again the practice is to get students thinking about that. If they are going to enlist in the military that counts.  If they are going to a trades school that counts," explained EPISD spokeswoman Melissa Martinez.

Since Mena has implemented this program, only one student hasn't applied to colleges.

Martinez said that lone student presented the principal with a valid reason for not applying and she was allowed to walk with her graduating class at the commencement ceremony.

El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Wil Herren

Wil Herren is an ABC-7 reporter who covers both news and sports.



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