THS graduates in college at 13-year high

The number of Trumbull High School students who graduated last June and have headed off to colleges this fall is “the highest in 13 years,” Guidance Department Chairman Cathy Hilser and Principal Marc Guarino told the Board of Education at a meeting Tuesday night, with 79% of the 522-member Class of 2015 attending four-year colleges and another 13% enrolling at two-year institutions.

The administrators added that more than half of the graduates are attending public colleges — one-third of those in Connecticut, with 44 graduates attending UConn.

While applications to the “most competitive” and the “highly competitive” institutions were up dramatically, Trumbull High was virtually shut out of the Ivy League, with but a single student at Cornell, another at Dartmouth and a third at Yale.

Board member Joseph Peddle asked why highly competitive schools were shunning Trumbull graduates.

Hilser explained that applying for early decision improves a student’s probability of acceptance, but acceptance means students committing to attend that school. Because financial aid is often a critical element, and because families often compare financial aid packages from school to school, early acceptance may also serve as a deterrent, she added.

Hilser said her department handled “over 3,000 applications,” as an increasing number of students avail themselves of higher education.