Students at Akron's Buchtel High School - mainly juniors - are learning how to navigate the options of paying for college.
On hand at a special assembly was U.S. Department of Education Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Jim Shelton, who explained the differences between loans and grants, among other items.
"They need to complete college because 80% of the jobs in the future are either going to require, whether it's a certificate, an associate or a bachelor's degree, some kind of post-secondary education and also that's how we're going to put our economy back on track." said Shelton.
Shelton says the Buchtel is representative of too many communities across the country that have a lower socioeconomic status, often leaving high school students or recent grads to think they would never be able to attend college.
Buchtel High School Principal Sonya Gordon has been at Buchtel for eight years, three as principal. She says the attitudes about college has changed among students over the years.
"I don't know that they thought it was an option before if they weren't an athlete or that top student," said Gordon. "So more and more kids are realizing, 'Hey I can do this as well,' so we bring back former students to talk to them about college and I see the enthusiasm."
Students during the special assembly voiced a variety of college majors from civil engineering to music and education to sports medicine.