Future collegians study today to save tomorrow

Staff writer

Centre High School juniors Daniela Svitak and Tabitha Oborny did not get much of a summer vacation, but they are OK with that.

Svitak and Oborny were taking general psychology for college credit at Butler Community College of Marion. They finished Thursday.

“I’m trying to get as much done as possible before graduating from high school,” Daniela said. “It’s a way to get classes done cheaply.”

Tabitha has an agreement with her mother that any class Tabitha takes during high school her mother will pay for. After high school, Tabitha will have to pay for classes on her own.

“Why not let her pay for it,” Tabitha said. “Plus classes here are so much cheaper than K-State, where I plan on going. I’m planning on taking as many college classes as I can before graduating.”

According to Amy Kjellin director of Butler of the Flint Hills, students who took a semester’s worth of classes, or 14 credit hours, at Butler will pay around $917 versus $3,654 at K-State.

“This is significant savings,” she said. “We encourage local high school students to use our facility to get the same classes they would need at a more expensive university out of the way.”

Butler of Marion offers face-to-face classes for most general education classes, and online classes seminar for many more.

“It’s hard to find teachers who want to come out to rural areas,” Kjellin said. “Online seminar allows us to combine Council Grove classes, or even high school classes, together into one class. This keeps the class sizes decent so we don’t have to cancel a course.”

Apart from the overall savings of classes at community colleges such as Butler, a state law passed last year made some classes even more affordable by waving state fees for career/technical education courses.

These are not general education courses, needed for college rather, these are classes that provide specific technical training, like certified nurse assistant or certified medical assistant training, early childhood development, and medical terminology.

Students still have to pay Butler costs, but the legislation cut the cost to $18.50 per credit hour. It applies only to students still in high school.

A Butler scholarship also is available to Marion and Peabody graduates.

The Van Buren Family scholarship pays 75 percent of tuition costs for students in need.

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