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Clayton State to hold open houses for prospective students

By Jeffery Whitfield

Want to attend Clayton State University and receive financial aid in January?

If so, attending an open house event at the university in November may be crucial, according to Anne Meserzey, Clayton State's director of admissions.

“It's really important for people wishing to start school right after Christmas,” she said. The deadline to apply for financial aid for Spring semester 2006 is Dec. 2.

Clayton State will host two meetings this month for those interested in attending the university. The first will be “Laker Day,” which will be held Saturday at Clayton State at the main campus in Morrow. Held for new and prospective students that want to apply to Clayton State in fall 2006, the event will be the second open house held this fall. It will start at 8:30 a.m. in Spivey Hall and conclude at 12:30 p.m. An information forum for non-traditional and transfer students will be held Nov. 17. Registration will be held and refreshments will be served from 6:15 to 6:30 p.m. The session will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Clayton State in the Harry S. Downs Continuing Education Center, Room 101.

Laker Day will give residents a chance to explore Clayton State's academic programs, attend information sessions on financial aid and admissions, go on campus tours, learn about student organizations and activities and include a free lunch, according to Lauren Baker, a Clayton State spokesperson.

“Students should not only visit the Clayton State Web site, but also visit the campus (for the open house),” she said.

Students who attend the open house today and plan for fall enrollment for the following year have a greater chance of being successful than those who wait and apply at a later time, Baker said.

Those who apply before a priority deadline on Feb. 15 may have a greater chance of receiving scholarships, financial aid or participating in programs such as Clayton State's honors program, she said.

The name Laker Day was coined in honor of Clayton State's athletic teams, called the Lakers.

“Originally, we just called it open house,” said Baker. “Over time we introduced the concept of our athletic team. We are the Lakers.”

Using the school's athletic team was considered a way of helping potential students “connect” with the school, she said.

Meserzey estimated about 500 to 600 residents would attend Laker Day. Nearly 300 people had registered for Laker Day as of last week.

More than 6,200 students are registered at Clayton State for fall semester. Slightly more than 5,200 applications were submitted by residents hoping to attend classes this fall.

For more information or to register, call (770) 961-3500 or access Clayton State's Web site at www.clayton.edu.