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Class of 2017 Earns a Bright Future

Posted: June 7th, 2017

HCPSS Graduates Receiving Millions in Scholarships for Excelling in Multiple Areas

More than 3,800 seniors graduated as members of the Howard County Public School System’s Class of 2017 and collectively they earned nearly $14 million in scholarships for their first year of college.

“Commencement is the culmination of all that we do as a school system to prepare students for college, careers and productive lives,” said HCPSS Acting Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “Our community has every reason to be proud of these graduates and confident that the investment in their education will show rich returns in their future achievements.”

For most graduates, the next big step is college, with 69.1 percent planning to enroll in a four-year college in the fall. An additional 27.8 percent are heading to a two-year college and most will later transfer to a four-year institution. A large proportion of graduates also are going directly into the workforce with 52.8 percent planning to work part- or full-time, 3.4 percent will enter the military, and 1.3 percent are headed to technical school. Many students plan to pursue simultaneous options.

Members of the Class of 2017 plan to enroll at 380 different colleges. The most frequent college choices are in-state institutions with Howard Community College, the University of Maryland, UMBC and Towson University topping the list. Others will attend higher education institutions throughout the nation, including every Ivy League school, and internationally as far away as South Africa, Hong Kong and Australia.

Many HCPSS graduates have a head start on obtaining a college degree by earning Advanced Placement (AP) credits while still in high school. Nearly 85 percent earned AP exam scores at levels 3–5 during their junior year, a level of achievement that earns college credit at many institutions. Many more will earn credit this summer for exams taken during the senior year.

The Class of 2017 is an impressive group, with average SAT and ACT scores of 1184 and 26, respectively, which notably exceed the national averages. The class includes 38 National Merit Scholarship finalists and 28 semi-finalists, as well as 171 National Merit Commended Students.

Howard County has a major stake in the continued success of these graduates. Nearly $165,000 was invested in each student’s public education, since they entered kindergarten in 2004. Ultimately, the community should gain a strong return on its investment. Howard County public school are a central economic driver for the county, with an estimated annual impact of more than $1.85 billion, which represents eight percent of total annual county output.

Photos, graduation programs, and video of the commencement ceremonies for each high school are available for viewing online.