Dutch Fork High School students say new state website makes applying to college much easier

Published: Dec. 12, 2018 at 7:46 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands teacher says that after hearing about the new Get Smart website on News 10 Sunrise, she’s bringing this revolutionary new web tool right inside the classroom at Dutch Fork High School.

Applying to college can certainly be an overwhelming process, but now there’s help. offers everything you need to know about pursuing a higher education here in the Palmetto State.

Dutch Fork High School teacher, Kathy Stuck Lott, isn’t afraid to express her enthusiasm over the new website. “Oh, my goodness, this is what we should have had from the very beginning because everything is in one place,” she said.

The website was developed by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and is designed to help students and families plan for life after high school.

Lott says the process can be quite daunting, “If you just sit down at a computer and say, ‘Okay, I want to go to college. Now, what am I going to do? Just Google how do I go to college?”

For years, this high school teacher has been challenging her students to begin the process of applying to college as a senior project.

“Some of these kids are first generation college students. They don’t have any idea of where to start and this site gives you that step-by-step process that is not so overwhelming,” Lott said.

Now, there’s a new tool to help with a decades-old assignment.

“It’s just a great guideline. There’s just, literally, every single part about applying to college and all of the things you need to focus on throughout high school – it’s all in that website from financial aid, to applying to college, to careers,” Dutch Fork High School junior, Abbi Martin said.

Lott says the website, “even has lists for – okay, this is what you need to do in: ninth grade, tenth grade, eleventh grade, twelfth grade.”

So helpful, some students recommend that you check it out even before you get to high school. Dutch Fork High School Senior Carson Dawalt says, “It really is a good resource for a lot of people to use, especially younger kids because it does tell you what you should be doing at a younger age.”

Martin tells WIS-TV she wishes she had this website sooner because “it helps to just show me what I need to crack down on and just the importance of every single year and every single class you take.”

“Plan out what you’re doing for high school, because the earlier you do it the better chance you have at getting into a better college,” Dawalt said.

The new website also features the new Palmetto Calculator, which allows students to compare the prices of different colleges across the state.

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