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Many explore options at college fair
Event helps with selection process
Heather McGarey fills out information for Georgia Southern University during the PROBE College Fair at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center. - photo by Jennifer Sami

More than 100 colleges and universities had representatives in Forsyth County on Tuesday for the annual PROBE College Fair.

The event, held at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, was organized by Tom Neighbour, who chairs the counseling department at Lambert High School.

“I organize it each year just because it’s a win-win situation for the students,” he said. “We brought over 1,000 students here from Forsyth County schools and the big advantage is for juniors and seniors.

“Selecting the right college is challenging enough. This gives them all these colleges under one roof with a lot of opportunities just in one visit to explore various schools.”

In addition to busing juniors and seniors from county schools, Dawson County High School and Pinecrest Academy also attended the event, as did other teenagers who came with parents.

Valery Hall, governance and career development coordinator for the local school system, said the district was pleased with the event’s turnout.

“This experience allowed our students to ask often challenging questions around such things as undergraduate programs, entrance requirements, and financial aid availability,” she said.

“Taking that next step can be a challenging experience for families, but our students will now feel more connected and comfortable to the represented colleges and universities. We can only hope that this experience has helped them better prepare for their next step in life.”

Among the colleges were several from in state, including the University of Georgia, University of North Georgia and Georgia Southern, as well as out-of-state schools such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Purdue.

Neighbor said he still encourages students to visit the campuses of colleges they hope to attend, though the PROBE Fair helps them narrow that list. They also could add new schools they hadn’t previously considered.

“For a student that is just starting on the search process, it can help them expand their list before narrowing it down,” Neighbor said. “It’s always a great opportunity for students that are still going through their college exploration process.”