“This might be [students’] first opportunity that they’ve had to look at colleges. They’re constantly getting things in the mail, but they don’t know who those colleges are and they haven’t had an opportunity to see a college sell themselves to them,” Susan Thacker, office manager for the foundation, said. “It lets them see what the school has to offer and it gives them a chance to see schools that may not have their information [widely available].”
Recruiters were available not only from major, four-year colleges outside of the state and scattered across the region, but from local institutions as well.
“Most of the questions [I’ve received] have been about transferring, ‘are my courses going to transfer and can I get core classes,’” Clifton Puckett, admissions recruiter for Georgia Highlands College said, adding many students were interested in the college’s nursing program offerings. “A lot of people want to stay local to save some money then transfer out.”
He continued, “The majority of our students go to Kennesaw [State University], the second is probably [the University] of West Georgia and then Georgia State [University] and everything will transfer to other [state] schools, no problem, but usually [students] will go for two years at Georgia Highlands and then transfer and save some money.”
WES senior Jessica Lee, who is interested in English literature as a major, said she enjoyed the experience of being able to get a better idea of what various colleges have to offer. She said she found the fair to be informative and that it provided a better experience than simply viewing a website or pamphlet.
“You can ask personalized questions and they actually personalize the experience for what you want to do and they give you all the information you need,” Lee said.
Lee’s classmate, Katie Cornett, also said having access to nearly 100 colleges helps simplify the process of evaluating the next step in one’s academic career.
“We’ve looked at Reinhart [University], Columbus State [University], [the University of Georgia] and Auburn [University],” Cornett said. “I want to major in musical theater, so I don’t know if it’s going to be better for me to just go to a four-year [university], so I have to weigh my options and figure that out.”
About the Etowah Scholarship Foundation
Since its inception, the foundation has awarded about $4 million in scholarships to about 4,000 students. The application for scholarships goes online each year beginning Jan. 1 and the deadline for applications is April 1.
For more information, visit www.etowah.org or call 770-382-1757.