Lesson 0: Understand It Is Possible

Welcome to Small Town Top College! By starting this course you’ve taken a first step toward broadening your view for your post-high school life! Each week you will receive a lesson like this one that includes articles, resources, and success stories to help you on your path. This week we have a little bit of everything.

Fair Opportunity Project Guide

Labeled as “A College Admissions and Financial Aid Guide For All Students,” this wonderful document should be your walkthrough resource for the college process. “Written by students from the nation’s top universities, this college application guide is being freely sent to every American public school to give students the opportunity to succeed.” Keep it handy.

Success Stories

These two students pushed the boundaries of expected college success by attending two top-ranking academic universities after graduating from tiny, rural high schools.  Their stories prove that an incredible education is both possible and achievable for small town students who work hard and stay motivated no matter the circumstances.

Yale with Questbridge – Yesenia Chavez

Yesenia is from a small town north of Denver. A first-generation student, she graduated first in her class in 2016 while participating (and often leading) a myriad of extra-curricular activities and clubs.  During her college search, her success continued, as she was accepted to multiple prestigious schools and won the Gates Millennium Scholarship. She is currently pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering at Yale!

Rural Texas to US Air Force Academy – Billy Sherrill

Billy is one of my best friends from my home town, Archer City, Texas (population ~1,800). His college search ended when he was accepted into the US Air Force Academy, graduating in 2015. He is now an intelligence officer in the Air Force.

Other Reading

5 Pieces of Advice for High School Students

After giving a talk at my alma mater, Archer City High School, I wrote this article to detail a few attitudes and approaches I would take if I was going through the college process again.

How did you like this lesson? Send me an email at any time (pat@smalltowntopcollege.com) with feedback and questions!