Why 35% of South Dakota’s H.S. students chose work over college

The state is overflowing with job opportunities and wages are on the rise.

Why wait to make money when you can put money in your account now?

That’s what Tyler Arrowood asked himself around the time he graduated from Washington High School in May. He was considering either going to a two-year college, or working for his aunt and uncle’s lawn care company, Lawn & Snow Co. LLC.

Arrowood, 18, opted for the workforce because he enjoys the work, likes working with family and also isn’t a big fan of school, anyway.

His story is not uncommon, with nearly 36% of South Dakota’s high school graduates choosing a path that does not include higher education, according to the Department of Education’s State Report Card for 2020-2021. Data on where 2022 graduates go after high school won’t be finalized until the DOE’s report card comes out in the fall, spokeswoman Ruth Raveling said.

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