Pee Dee area high school seniors will gather in the Smith University Center (UC) on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8:30 a.m. to participate in the Pee Dee Area Consolidated College Fair.
The fair, which has been held at FMU for over 10 years, allows high school seniors throughout the Pee Dee region to learn more about different colleges and universities.
According to Lisa Knell, Assistant Director of Admissions and host coordinator of the fair, nearly every public or private college or university in South Carolina attends. Knell also notes that more colleges are expected to make an appearance this year.
“We have some new [universities] coming this year,” Knell said. “We have Pfeiffer coming, Marquette, University of Alabama and some North Carolina institutions.”
Knell commented on why FMU serves as the host institution.
“There’s just so many high schools in this area, that when the colleges are traveling around, it’s just easier to host it at one place than to travel to all the different high schools,” Knell said.
According to Knell, because FMU serves as the fair’s host, prospective students have a chance to get acquainted with the campus.
“We bus in over 2,000 students to come to this college fair, so not only do they get to meet other colleges, but they also get to set foot on our campus,” Knell said.
Knell explained that a number of fair attendees become FMU students.
“[At the fair] we have info cards that students fill out,” Knell said. “And by filling out their cards, they’re saying, ‘I’m interested; I want to receive more information.’ So in the realm of about 500-700 cards out of the 2,000 students, we end up enrolling at least 100 of them.”
Knell remarked that the college fair gives many Pee Dee area students an opportunity that they may have not otherwise received.
“A lot of the reasoning behind the college fair is that a lot of the students don’t have the opportunity to go visit schools that they’re interested in,” Knell said. “Whether it’s financial reasons, or whether they can’t travel, we want to give every student in the Pee Dee area the opportunity to see the schools.”