High schools sponsor College Application Day

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More than 360 high school seniors across Beaufort County got a head start on applying to college today with help from school guidance counselors, parents, community volunteers and representatives of colleges and universities.
“College Application Day,” a joint project of the Beaufort County School District, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the South Carolina Department of Education, provided coaching and advice to students at all five district high schools as they filled out actual college applications on line.  Many students reported completing three applications during the day, and all participants completed at least one.
“College Application Day does several things at once,” said Superintendent Valerie Truesdale. “Some students can be intimidated by the process of applying to a two- or four-year college, and we provided one-on-one assistance to address that.  This event also nudged students toward an early start with their paperwork.  Perhaps the biggest benefit, though, was teaching the skills and tips that students need to complete successful applications.”
Raychelle Lohmann, the district’s lead high school guidance counselor, said 366 students were coached as they completed online applications for specific colleges or generic applications that provide template information for use in applying to any college.
High school counselors, representatives from colleges and the Commission on Higher Education, and volunteers from the county’s business community were on hand to provide one-on-one coaching.  In addition, parents were invited to attend with their children and sit with them.
“This is the first time we’ve done this on a district-wide basis,” Lohmann said, “and our turnout today was terrific.”
At Whale Branch Early College High School, parent and community volunteers joined college representatives in the school’s computer lab throughout the day to help students with their online applications.
Lohmann said that a particular emphasis was placed on helping minority students and students who would be the first in their families to attend college. “For many students, College Application Day can provide a final boost of encouragement to students who might not apply otherwise,” she said.
Lohmann added that the district would sponsor workshops for parents on how to finance their children’s college educations. For residents in the northern part of the county, the workshop will be held Nov. 16 at Beaufort High School, from 6-7:30 p.m.  Both programs are free.