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About 1,800 students flock to college fair

November 11, 1996

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer

Melissa Nelson wants to go to college, but she does not know where.

On Monday, she and about 1,800 high school students got the chance to meet with representatives from 162 colleges at South Hagerstown High School's Choice '96 to talk about that decision.

"Some of these colleges I didn't know existed," said Nelson, 17, a senior at Williamsport High School, as she walked with her mother past the tables set up by the colleges.

Her mother, Cindy Shank, said the first question she asks college recruiters is when is the application due for acceptance and financial aid.

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"They have tons of information here," she said.

Budd Moore, guidance counselor at South Hagerstown High School, and organizer of the event, said students from 69 high schools attended from the Tri-State area. He said that 162 colleges had recruiters present and another 180 sent brochures.

The students asked questions about academic programs, while most of the parents asked about financial aid, recruiters said.

"I'm looking for schools that have a program in English and writing," said Natalie Friton, 16, a junior at North Hagerstown High School,

Friton said she does not know what university she would like to attend.

"It's becoming harder and harder to make a decision," Friton said.

Pam Carey said her son, Mike Carey, 17, a senior at North Hagerstown High School, can pick his major, but she wants a say on where he goes to school.

"I'll let him choose the career he wants, but I'm concerned about the location of where he's going," Carey said.

Mike Carey said he wants to major in occupational therapy and is thinking about Towson State University.

Jimmie Lobley, 17, of Hagerstown, a junior at St. Maria Goretti High School, said he's interested in a college with a business program because he would like one day to start his own business.

Some students have determined what they want to do with their future, and others said they are undecided and plan to determine that after they start college.

Brittany Bisbee, 16, a junior at North Hagerstown High School, said the college fair helped her gather a lot of information about different universities.

"It's good just to see what colleges are out there, to see what people can offer you," she said.

Jodi Jaranko, 17, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said that her teacher at St. Maria Goretti High School, where she is a junior, suggested she attend the college fair.

"We're learning there's a variety of schools we didn't even know about," said Greta Rettig, 17, of Waynesboro, Pa., also a junior at St. Maria Goretti High School.

Jaranko said that there is more pressure for students to further their educations after high school than there was on students in the past.

"It puts more pressure on you, but it opens more doors up," Jaranko said.

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