Knowledge is power: Junior college day

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Choosing what colleges to apply and go to is no easy task.

To help juniors find out more about nearby colleges, Hillcrest High School hosted a College Day for juniors on January 31 during school hours.

Mr. Murdock, a counselor at Hillcrest, stated, “There [was] an opening session regarding admissions and financial aid in the auditorium and then students [got] to choose three breakout sessions with Utah colleges.”

Students rotated around different classrooms with representatives from over ten Utah colleges.

The Utah colleges/universities that had representatives at Hillcrest were varied, from Brigham Young University to Mountainland Technical College.

Murdock explained, “Historically, college day was held for students during their senior year. Starting last year, the Utah colleges/universities decided it would be better to meet with students when they are juniors so they have more time to prepare for college (with activities like college tours, for example).”

Ms. Johnston, another Hillcrest counselor, added, “This is a tradition that is put on by the Utah System of Higher Education, who helps to organize this with us, and they have been helping to organize these college representative tours for several years.”Juniors often don’t have the spotlight on them for college-prep events, so this event was very crucial for juniors to go to.

Murdock explained, “Juniors should attend because this is a unique opportunity to meet directly with their three top Utah colleges. Starting to think about college choices now allows more time to search for the right college fit and also helps students get a head start in preparing to pay for college.”

Johnston further elaborated, “For some, this will be their only opportunity to meet with a college representative. […] If you have questions about how you can pay for college, or a wondering what the best major for you is, or where you should live, or what there is to do at a smaller campus that might be cheaper to attend, these are the people who can answer all your questions.”

Juniors are not the only ones limited to learning about college days; seniors, sophomores and freshman have events of their own.

Although the most recent Utah College Application Week was held in November 2018, Murdock explained, “Freshmen and Sophomores can attend Financial Aid Nights that are held once or twice per year and are encouraged to attend their PCCR [Plan for College and Career Readiness] meetings.”

Murdock advised for high school students of all grade levels, “Start investigating possible colleges now. Start building a strong resume now. Take challenging classes!”

Johnston gave even more advice, “I would say this is a time to dream big. […] Give yourself a direction, because that is what gets you excited. Don’t procrastinate your high school graduation requirements, because you don’t want a silly high school class get in the way of your dreams.”

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