Florence One students attend college fair at FMU

October 11, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – Juniors and seniors from all three high schools in Florence One Schools began thinking about their next steps after high school Wednesday at the college and university fair at Francis Marion University.

This is the first year that all Florence juniors and seniors attended the event. Last year, only 300 students came to the fair, but this year 1,100 students from Wilson, West Florence and South Florence high schools attended the event, Florence One Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley said.

O’Malley said the district wanted to make sure that all students have equal opportunities to learn about their options for college and university.

“In this day and age, I think there is an opportunity for everyone,” O’Malley said. “Allowing them to see these opportunities, we wanted to provide them with that.”

In the Smith University Center at Francis Marion, admissions counsellors from 57 universities set up tables around the gym for student to learn about their admissions processes, scholarship activities and campus organizations.

Universities across the Carolinas were present, such as Anderson University, Winston-Salem College, Campbell University and the University of South Carolina Upstate.

Students walked from table to table receiving information and asking questions.

Monica Coleman. a senior at West Florence, said she was able to learn a lot from the college fair that will help her in her college application process. Coleman said she felt she learned a lot because she got to talk to people face to face about their colleges.

“It’s just better to talk to someone in person and have that connection to them,” Coleman said.

Coleman is considering multiple colleges, including Winthrop University and Winston-Salem.

Jalynn Lewis, a junior at West Florence, said she is glad to learn about the diversity at each college. She said the event gave her more information so she can compare and contrast different universities.

The Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers coordinated the event as a part of a fall tour of the Carolinas.

Francis Marion admissions counselor Franny Robinson said the event is focused on making sure students are adequately prepared for making college decisions.

The Oct. 10 event is the second part of the college fair. On Monday, 1,200 students from other Pee Dee high schools came to the college fair.

Robinson has been traveling to some of the different fairs across the state.

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