To stay or not to stay: The question facing Baylor grads

With graduation soon approaching, seniors must decide whether to stay or leave Waco. Hyundo Song | Photo Intern

By Caitlin Erramouspe | Reporter

The countdown to graduation has already begun for seniors with only seven more weeks in the semester. Many Baylor alumni choose to stay in Waco, and seniors will soon face the decision to move or find jobs locally.

Meredith Mrok, a Baylor alumna from the class of 2019, made the decision to stay in Waco once she graduated.

“I can’t recommend living in Waco enough,” Mrok said. “I believe finding community as a young adult is the hardest part of transitioning from a student to a full-time professional, and Waco is one of the best places to find that community quickly.”

Mrok said her job as an experiences recruitment specialist at the Wiethorn Undergraduate Admissions Center at Baylor played a major role in the decision to stay in Waco.

“What also sold me was the low cost of living in Waco, the easy commute, my church and the friends who I knew were also staying in Waco,” Mrok said.

Santa Ana, Calif., senior Jillian Taylor said she is currently deciding if she wants stay in Waco post-grad.

“The benefits of staying in Waco after graduation would be an easier transition into post-grad life, familiarity of the area, some sense of the support system that I’ve depended throughout the last four years and lower cost of living,” Taylor said.

Data USA shows the most common jobs in Waco are in health care and social assistance, while the highest paying field is public administration. The city’s median household income is increasing, along with its population. According to Simply Analytics, 14.7% of the Waco population is between the ages of 20 and 24.

“As a graduating senior, I could see staying in Waco after graduation as an appealing option because it’s been a home to me and my friends for the last four years,” Taylor said. “It’s been a great place to be in during my time at Baylor, and there’s a level of comfort and familiarity that Waco will always provide for me.”