Students explore higher-education options at WNCC college fair

September 11, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — Area high school seniors and juniors converged on the Western Nebraska Community College Scottsbluff campus on Monday for an afternoon of college exploration.

Forty colleges and universities had representatives speak with students and parents and guardians about their programs and entrance requirements at the Scottsbluff/Gering Educational Planning Program.

As students visited the higher education representatives, WNCC Admission Counselor Jolene Martin said, “Everybody is good about sending students to other tables that have the degree program, when that college doesn’t.”

Junior Zachary Hiegel from Bayard High School said, “It’s just a really good opportunity to get into these big schools. The only thing that’s bad about it is the lines, especially the big schools.”

Beyond speaking with colleges and universities, a representative from the EducationQuest Foundation offered students resources for scholarships and financial aid. The representatives also discussed scholarship opportunities for students to help with out-of-state tuition and ways to make college more affordable.

The event brought representatives from community colleges state colleges and universities together from Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.

“I’m kind of intrigued by the event since everybody offers something a little different,” said Bayard High School junior Joseph Burris.

Scottsbluff High School juniors Jesse McCaslin, Jensen Bedlan and Emily Tarr said they are excited for college. They said the representatives for Wesleyan College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney were welcoming and both schools offered the programs they wanted.

While WNCC has hosted this event in the past for high school students, this year, WNCC students also had the opportunity to participate. Martin noted how crucial this event is for WNCC students to talk about scholarship opportunities as they look to transfer to larger colleges and universities.

Martin has been involved in organizing the event and said the only negative feedback she received from students is that they wish there were more Colorado universities and colleges present.

The event attracted close to 400 students and occurred on Monday from 1:30-3 p.m. at Cougar Palace on the WNCC Scottsbluff campus.

Throughout September and October, the college representatives travel through the state, with this week in the Panhandle.

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