Hundreds of Whittier Union High School District students – eager to plan their future in higher education – and their parents attended the District’s annual College Fair, meeting with dozens of college representatives and receiving firsthand information about college systems and financial aid.
The fair, held Sept. 20 at Pioneer High School, featured more than 50 colleges and universities, among them UC Berkeley, Cal State Fullerton, Biola University, Rio Hondo College, Arizona State, Cal Poly Pomona and Loyola Marymount, as well as military branches and career technical education schools.
In addition to filling out registration cards and collecting college brochures, students and parents attended workshops to learn more about financial aid (including the California Dream Act), the four major college systems, how to decide what subject major to choose, SAT and ACT testing, Rio Hondo’s Rio Promise tuition program and the Cal-SOAP program at CSU Long Beach.
La Serna High School senior Warren Prescott and his father, Barclay Prescott, arrived at the College Fair and immediately began looking over the program to see what colleges were participating and what time the workshops began.
“I came to the College Fair last year and I have narrowed my focus to colleges with strong aerospace programs,” Warren Prescott said. “I have better questions this year, but I’m hoping to be surprised.”
Pioneer High’s College Fair format earned high marks from Barclay Prescott.
“I absolutely love it,” he said. “I want to talk to the reps and find more information on their engineering programs. We will also attend the financial aid workshop.”
Whittier Union’s College Fair rotates to a different District high school each year. Pioneer High’s Expanded Horizons and Career Center coordinators began planning for the event in May, reaching out to schools and presenters to ensure students had access to a wide variety of college and career choices.
“I advise my students to keep an open mind, bring your transcripts and have good questions prepared,” said Victoria Cuevas, director of the school’s Expanded Horizons academic and student support program. “Students generally have their hearts set on one or two schools, but I tell them to talk to as many colleges as they can, because you never know what will spark your interest. You need to find the school that best fits your needs as a student.”
Students, parents, reps and school staff were also treated to a catered dinner and refreshments.
“Whittier Union is committed to providing every student the support and resources they need to create a path to higher education and the career of their dreams,” Whittier Union Superintendent Martin Plourde said. “The College Fair wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and diligence of our coordinators and counselors, and without the support of the Whittier community.”