College Fair attracts high school students

Shanae Giles, Staff Writer

Nearly 2,000 high school students from across the state arrived at Francis Marion University on Tuesday, Oct. 4. They were greeted by FMU’s admissions staff, diplomats and student volunteers for the annual College Fair.

Close to 50 colleges, universities, and post-high school organizations set up tables with brochures and information in the UC gym.

The College Fair featured representatives from schools such as Clemson University, The Citadel, Charleston Southern University, Ander-son University and the University of Alabama.

“While they are coming to learn about colleges all over North and South Carolina, they are on our campus, and we have sort of the home field advantage,” said Steven Coté, FMU’s senior admissions counselor.

During the event, students interested in learning more about FMU were able to take campus tours.

Admissions Counselor Lauren Benton set up a table for FMU among the other colleges at the fair.

“Getting students to the campus has increased our student enrollment because they have an opportunity to tour the campus, see what it’s like to be on campus and potentially see themselves fitting in here,” Benton said.

While FMU has been hosting the College Fair for at least 15 years, this year was the fourth year Admissions Counselor Lisa Knell has organized the event, and she said it gets easier every year.

“The first year, I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was, but when you’re talking 2,000-plus people, it gets a little hectic,” Knell said.

Not only does the admissions staff host a College Fair, but they also spend eight weeks traveling to College Fair’s on other campuses sponsored by CACRAO.

“College fairs on other college campuses go just as well, but the execution of our event usually helps create a better enrollment for our local area students,” Coté said. “Not only do we have it, but I think we do it very well.”

Coté said the main reason FMU hosts the fair is to allow high school students to get information about colleges.

With attendance in-creasing every year, the College Fair will continue to be a yearly event for FMU.