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Published: Tuesday, 10/4/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

College nights are scheduled for students and parents

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Finding a college and a way to pay for it are at the top of many high school students’ — and their parents’ — lists right now.

On Thursday, Toledo Public Schools and The Blade are to present College Night 2011 at the University of Toledo’s Scott Park Campus, where representatives of more than 95 schools are to be present. Information sessions on financial aid, maximizing ACT and SAT scores, and essay writing and scholarships also will be offered during the event, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Virgie Hamrick, guidance director for TPS, said buses will be available to transport students and their parents from each of the district’s high schools to Scott Park on Thursday. She said even parents of children in elementary and junior high school are invited.

“We really want them to get involved early,” Ms. Hamrick said. “The main thing is we need to get the students thinking about it early. It’s the same thing with graduation. We have to get them thinking this is not just a dream, it is an expectation.”

With programs such as the UT Guarantee at the University of Toledo and the Success Program at Owens Community College, which offer tuition grants to students who qualify for federal financial aid, more and more TPS graduates are going to college, Ms. Hamrick said.

“Knowing it really is possible for them to go to college means we’re seeing more go,” she said. “And with the economy, so many parents fall into the category where they’re eligible.”

Ron Shnider, an employee of The Blade’s advertising department, said the free event is open to students and parents from throughout the area.

“It’s a good community involvement project,” he said. “It can help a lot of high school juniors and seniors in their decision-making for higher education.”

In addition to colleges and universities from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, organizers expect representatives of the military and local trade programs.

Betsy Johnson, dean of student enrollment at Owens, is to speak about financial aid at 6 and 7 p.m. Shawn Babula, College Access Program Coordinator with Partners in Education of Toledo, is to speak on maximizing ACT and/or SAT scores at 6:30 and on essay writing and scholarships at 7:30.

Tuesday night, Lourdes University is to be host for a Catholic High School College Night sponsored by Central Catholic, St. John’s Jesuit, and St. Francis de Sales high schools, and St. Ursula and Notre Dame academies.

Amy Mergen, dean of enrollment at Lourdes, said officials expect 1,500 high school students to visit the college fair, which is to run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Franciscan Center. More than 117 colleges and universities from across the country are to be represented.

Ms. Mergen said the event is geared to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, although freshmen have attended in past years. Many students are beginning their college search early, she said, although plenty of seniors are still undecided.

“Seniors may have narrowed their choice down to three or four schools, but they’re still looking,” she said. “They’re still looking to put themselves in front of that recruiter so they can put a name with a face.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-724-6129.



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