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Clayton Schools hosts college expo for seniors today

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

For the second consecutive year, the Clayton County School System is putting a lot of high school students in the same room with a lot of college recruiters.

Representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities will get a chance to pitch their institutions to 2,670 high school seniors at Clayton State University today.

The University of Georgia; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia State University; University of Florida; Clemson University, and Ohio State University are some of the institutions of higher learning represented at the school system's College Expo.

"We do this to expose the students to all of the colleges that are out there," said Ken Sanders, the system's coordinator for school counseling services. "When students are exposed to more colleges, they are more likely to apply to, and go to, college."

The expo gives seniors an opportunity to speak with admissions counselors from the colleges they are interested in attending. The seniors will find out each school's admissions requirements; course offerings; financial-aid programs; general college life, and special programs.

High school counselors, and graduation coaches will help the seniors address the college officials, and make sure the students receive all of the necessary paperwork for each school.

The students will be transported to the expo by school bus, and students who do not ride the bus to the expo will not be admitted.

The expo will last from 9 a.m., to 1:20 p.m. Not all seniors will attend at the same time. Three schools will participate in each time frame, and each time frame will last 50 minutes.

"We've been working with the students, and they have a list of all the schools that will be attending," Sanders said. "By now, they should have narrowed down the list to those schools which they are most interested in. Therefore, 50 minutes should be plenty of time."

On it's web site, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) recommends students plan their strategy for the fair before they arrive. Students can become overwhelmed by the size and number of colleges represented at the fair, and find themselves stopping at every table that catches their eyes.

One of NACAC's suggestions is to scope out all of the colleges at the fair before stopping at tables to speak with admissions representatives. Students are also urged to make a list of questions they might have about the schools. The questions should be tailored to the student's interests, and not cover things found in typical college guides.

The answers to these questions can help a student determine which schools he or she prefers. The NACAC also encourages seniors to follow up on college fairs by filling out information cards for the colleges or universities, and scheduling campus visits.

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On the net:

The National Association for College Admission Counseling: http://www.nacacnet.org/