More than 1,400 high school juniors and seniors from Charles County Public Schools attended the annual college fair Monday, Sept. 18, at North Point High School.
Representatives of more than 130 colleges and universities, including those from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), set up shop in the gym to tout the virtues of their respective schools while fielding questions from potential students.
“They ask about safety and what there is to do on campus,” said Jenna Hook, an admissions counselor for Salisbury University, her alma mater where she received a bachelor’s degree in 2014 and her master’s in 2016. “A lot of them are interested to hear they can have a car on campus from their first day.”
While plenty of college information is only a Google search away for most students, nothing beats the one-on-one, face-to-face interaction provided by the College Fair.
“You actually get to talk to people and learn more from their point of view,” said Kayla Gassama, a North Point senior who wants to study nursing at Towson University. “You hear what they think of their school.”
Along with representatives from the branches of the U.S. military, admissions staff from schools in Maryland, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and West Virginia spoke with students about academics, athletics and campus life. If a student wanted to learn more, they left their contact information with a representative.
Students could visit the fair during the school day, or come by in the evening from 6 to 8 p.m. with their parents. About 1,100 people attended the evening session which included two financial aid presentations.
The College Fair is one way for students to learn about the next step in their education. It’s an opportunity for students to gather applications and see if a school would be a good fit for them and their course of study. There are other supports in place for the college-bound. Each high school has a college and career advisor who is focused on helping students plot out the course they will take after graduation. College admission representatives also set up appointments to drop by high schools to share more information, and from Oct. 23 to 27, College Application Week will ensure every senior completes an application to the College of Southern Maryland.
Financial aid presentations are scheduled to be held in each of the county’s seven high schools in October. Parents and students are welcome to attend any session, regardless of the school a student attends.
North Point and St. Charles high schools will hold presentations on Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. Westlake High School will host a presentation on Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. On Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m., a presentation is Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Thomas Stone High School; La Plata High School will have one at 6 p.m. Oct. 24; and a final one will be 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at Henry E. Lackey High School.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Marvin L. Jones, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.