Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

10th-Grade Campus Visit: Climbing to Success

Amber Stokes, Jami Henson, Teresa Lansford, Brittley Base | Published: January 28th, 2022 by K20 Center


The 10th-grade campus visit focuses on acceptance to postsecondary institutions, cost of attending, and financial aid. Participants will create a list of postsecondary education (PSE) acceptance requirements, expenses related to PSE opportunities, and how to pay for those expenses.

Essential Questions

  • What factors influence my ability to gain acceptance into a PSE option?

  • What are the different expenses for PSE and how could I pay for those expenses?

Learning Goals

  • Recognize the factors that influence a student’s ability to gain acceptance to the PSE option of their choice.

  • List the different expenses related to PSE.

  • Identify at least one solution to fund postsecondary education.

Materials List

  • Presentation Slides (attached)

  • HS Requirement Checklist (attached; 1 per student)

  • Arrow Card (attached; 1 per student or group)


5 Minute(s)

Use slides 1–3 from the attached Presentation Slides to make introductions and set expectations.

Place students in groups of three to four. Display slide 4 and pose this question to the whole group: "What do you think admissions in postsecondary education (PSE) look for when deciding who they will admit to their school?"

In the small groups, have students record a list of their ideas. After students have completed their list, ask them to come to a consensus on which three factors they think PSEs might consider as the most important. Ask for groups to share their top three ideas.


10 Minute(s)

Display slide 5 and introduce the theme for "The Price is Right." Inform students they are all contestants on "The Price is Right." Show slide 6 and let students introduce themselves, either to the whole group or just to the others in their group.

Move to slide 7 and explain to students they will be working as a team to move the mountain-climber up the mountain. Use slides 8–9 to explain how students will play the game: groups will hear various statements regarding high school requirements or college expenses, and then will determine if those statements are moving the climber closer or farther from the goal of PSE success. Groups should hold their Arrow Card up if they think it gets the climber closer to his goal and down if they think it will prevent him from reaching his goal.

Slides 10–22 show each prompt. The climber is animated to move up or down to match the correct answer. At slide 23, explain that the climber has graduated but still needs to do a bit more to reach his goal. Slide 24 shares new goals for PSE. Continue with slides 25–28 to review college expenses.


10 Minute(s)

Display slide 29 and go over the discussion questions:

  • What key items allowed the climber to move up?

  • What key items made the climber move down?

  • Which of these items can you do to "move up" toward a PSE goal?

Have groups discuss any things that surprised them or that they knew before would either help or keep someone from their goals. n Base discussion on the climber activity statements.


5 Minute(s)

Move to slide 30 and discuss Oklahoma’s Promise. Share with students the requirements for applying and what they need to do to apply. Encourage them to talk to their parent or guardian about this as soon as possible.


15 Minute(s)

Display slide 31. Pass out the HS Requirements Checklist to each student.

Move to slide 32 for the directions. Have students put a checkmark next to the items they have completed, and put a star next to the items they plan to complete by the end of the school year.

Research Rationale

College can be a life-altering experience for students, and not only academically. Here are just a few of the ways in which college can change students' lives for the better: Earning a bachelor's degree will allow students to earn, on average, $1 million more than high school graduates over the course of their careers (Abel & Deitz, 2014). College offers students an opportunity to build relationships with mentors and peers that will benefit them throughout their careers (Campbell, Smith, Dugan, & Komives, 2012). College graduates tend to have more job satisfaction, jobs that offer a greater sense of accomplishment, more independence and opportunities for creativity, and more social interactions in their jobs than noncollege graduates (Oreopoulos & Petronijevic, 2013). College graduates increase their chance of employment. Over the last 20 years, the unemployment rate for college graduates has been approximately half that of high school graduates (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). College helps students develop skills that prepare them for careers in the tech-driven economy, including nonroutine, abstract skills that aid in problem solving, multitasking, and creativity (Oreopoulos & Petronijevic, 2013).


  • Abel, J. R., & Deitz, R. (2014). Do the benefits of college still outweigh the costs? Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 20(3).

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2018). Labor force statistics from the current population survey.

  • Campbell, C. M., Smith, M., Dugan, J. P., & Komives, S. R. (2012). Mentors and college student leadership outcomes: The importance of position and process. The Review of Higher Education, 35(4), 595-625.

  • Oreopoulos, P. & Petronijevic, U. (2013). Making college worth it: A review of the returns to higher education. The Future of Children, 23(1), 41-65.