College fair tomorrow

Published 9:55 pm Saturday, September 27, 2008

The class of 2009 has already started filling out their college applications, researching scholarships and financial aid, and trying to figure out a major. Even the class of 2010 has already started to receive mail from every college and university in Virginia.

To aid students in their search, King’s Fork High School is hosting a college fair with representatives from 52 colleges, universities and trade schools in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. The representatives will be able to tell students about their schools, admission requirements, majors offered, potential financial aid, and other important topics for college-bound high-schoolers.

The fair will be held in the cafeteria at King’s Fork from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday night. It is free to all students and parents.

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“Everyone is welcome no matter what school they attend,” said Charlene Jerlin, the guidance director at King’s Fork. Students and parents both are encouraged to attend, and it’s not just for seniors – juniors and sophomores can start their planning ahead of time by getting more information, Jerlin said.

College fairs are important because students don’t always learn about schools through traditional means.

“Sometimes there may be a school out there that may fit you perfectly, and you may not have known anything about it,” she said. “There are different majors you didn’t even know existed, and sometimes scholarship or financial aid programs that even the guidance counselors aren’t aware of.”

An event such as this one makes it simple to find out about many institutions in one place.

“It’s so much easier to come in one room and visit 50 colleges than to visit 50 college sites,” she said. “They can give you information that you didn’t know you needed.”

Seniors who are planning to begin college or trade school in the fall of 2009 need to find out most about admission requirements, majors and programs offered, and financial aid and scholarships at this point in the process, Jerlin said.

For those who are younger, such as juniors, sophomores and even freshmen, the fair is a good opportunity to learn what is out there and gain motivation to start pressing toward a goal.

“It would be great for them to talk to the colleges and figure out what is a college looking for in a student,” Jerlin said. “It can give them a better focus on what (courses) they need to take, so by the time they graduate, they have met these requirements for the colleges.”