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College fair stirs student interest
Turnout pleases organizers, recruiters
Fair WEB 1

Representatives of more than 100 colleges throughout the Southeast filled the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center on Tuesday morning.

The site was one of 58 stops on the fall 2012 PROBE College Fair Tour, organized by the Georgia Education Articulation Committee.

Tom Neighbour, counseling department chairman at Lambert High School, served as the local organizer for the event.

“I think we had a really successful college fair today,” he said. “We had all five Forsyth County high schools bring their juniors and seniors and we also had Dawson County High School that made a trip down for the fair.”

Neighbour said the 104 colleges in attendance represented a “mix of public, private, in-state and out-of-state institutions, as well as the military.”

“I made the rounds and talked to all the representatives and they made a lot of good contacts, which is important because it keeps them coming and bringing schools here for our students to go and visit,” he said.

Nathan O’Brien, a representative with Piedmont College in Demorest, said his booth had received a lot of stops by both Forsyth and Dawson students.

“We have a pretty good stack of applications and inquiry cards from students with all kinds of questions,” he said.

Kayla McCay, a representative of Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., said she didn’t have quite as much interest.

“We get some kids from this area, but it’s not really our main focus point, but it is a growing area for us,” she said.

Dawsonville High School seniors Jonathan Erickson and Carly Gilreath both said they were glad they got to come.

“There was a wide variety of schools and I thought it was a really good fair,” Erickson said. “There were not just a bunch of schools in the state of Georgia, but there were a lot of others from other states and that’s good.”

Added Gilreath: “I’m looking to go to school and play basketball, and all the schools I’m interested in were here so I thought that was really cool.”

Neighbour said college fairs are positive because they often make students aware of different schools.

“This is perfect because they’re able to find out not only about the UGAs that everybody knows, but also about the diamond in the rough like a maybe Troy University that they might not have thought of before,” he said.

“We’re fortunate to be able to have [the PROBE Fair] so close that we can make it a field trip and they miss just two class periods and get our here and spend some good time with these representatives.”