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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student


Students search for colleges at Bloomington North

Bloomington High School North organized the Monroe County College Fair Oct. 3 to help students prepare for their futures.

School counselor and fair coordinator Mary Priester said the fair included a total of 75 schools, trade schools and organizations.

“Usually the fair is held at the Convention Center,” Priester said. “It has been tough pulling all the strings together at the end. I’ve had last-minute cancellations and last-minute registrations. We’ve got schools from Kentucky, Michigan, even Penn State.”

The fair was open to all students, parents and others interested in expanding their education. Priester said they had students coming in from several surrounding counties.

When the doors to the gym opened at 6:30 p.m., families shuffled in, winding down rows of tables lined with pamphlets. Schools including IU, IU-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue University were there, but so were representatives from the Army and the Navy and even ACT prep courses.

Mitchell High School senior Alyssa Gardner and her mother Deanna Gardner came to the fair to see what options colleges had for Alyssa’s interest in physical therapy.

“I’ve already seen IU and Evansville, but I came to expand my options,” Alyssa said.
Her mother said they’re feeling the pressure of finding a school.

“We feel like we’re behind on looking for colleges,” Deanna said. “This is a good place to ask questions.”

Students from BHSN, including senior J.P. Morrison, helped organize the fair.
“I helped set up, hand out food and answer questions,” Morrison said.

He also said he was looking a little at schools.

“Purdue’s here, and they’re a pretty good school,” he said. “I still don’t know where I’m going yet. I’m working on that.”

Schools and groups tried attracting students in multiple ways. Some had iPads showcasing videos of campus life. Others gave away free pens and flash drives. The Navy was handing out mini plush footballs.

Brittany Monasterio was running the table for Indiana Wesleyan University.

“It’s my first week here,” Monasterio said. “We have many counselors and go out to events as often as we can.”

Monasterio’s particular area is southern Indiana, southern Ohio and Maryland. She said she believes these college fairs are important.

“It’s good to get personal, one-on-one interaction with students,” she said.

Just then, Mitchell High School senior Haley Doty approached the table.

“Hi, what kind of major are you interested in?” Monasterio asked.

“Education,” Doty replied.

“Great, that’s one of our bigger programs,” Monasterio said, handing her a flyer.

Monasterio made more than 30 such connections. The fair continued until 8:30 p.m., when families shuffled back out into the night.

The Gardner family said the fair was a success for them.

“I saw a lot of colleges that I liked,” Alyssa said.

“We talked to the Army. I never thought we would do that,” Deanna said. “We brought an empty backpack and now it’s full of flyers.”

Follow reporter Stephen Kroll on Twitter @stephenkroll1.

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