Trenton High plays host to big-time colleges, students

Photo by Tom Tigani

Photo by Tom Tigani

Higher education comes to town
JIm Vanderbrink (left), alumni representative for Ohio State University, extols the virtues of his institution to Brenda Cloutier (second from left), Bill Cloutier and Matt Cloutier, all of Grosse Ile, at Trenton High School during Wednesday’s College Night.

Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON – Hundreds of area high school students and their parents got a chance to see into the future Wednesday at a College Night at Trenton High School.

Participants came to speak directly to college and university admission officers from over 60 schools and learn more about scholarships and financial aid. Representatives came from institutions as far away as Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Alabama.

While the reps frequently visit locations in their state and throughout the country, Wednesday’s College Nights was one of a limited number sanctioned each year by the Michigan Association of College Registrars & Admissions Officers, a statewide organization.

MACRAO guidelines limit the number and types of giveaway items colleges and universities can distribute to attendees in order to level the playing field and keep better-funded institutions from capturing attention with higher-end items. Wednesday’s event was three years in the making, said Kate Schultz, Trenton High counselor and career center specialist.

Invitations were extended to students and parents a number of Downriver schools, she said, adding that officials were pleased at the number of institutions that were represented.

“It was a lot of hard work and we’re really excited that it turned out so well,” Schultz said. “Hopefully students were able to get the information they needed to make the important decisions that face them once they graduate.”

For nearly half an hour, the biggest line was at the Central Michigan University table.

“I was just interested in Central because it’s a big-time college and I wanted to see what it’s all about,” said Trenton junior Ashley McNabb, who was waiting with classmates Lauren Featherston and Julia Suyak.

“It’s one of the top colleges on my list,” Suyak said.

Southgate Anderson High School senior Andrew Plaza already has been accepted into the nursing program at University of Detroit Mercy.

“I just thought I’d see what it’s all about,” he said of his reasons for attending,“all the different colleges to get experience, see how much they would cost, everything about the different types of colleges, the different programs that they have.”

His take-away from Wednesday’s event was twofold.

“College is expensive,” Plaza said. “I found that out. And the colleges offer a lot of programs, a lot of variety.”

“I’ve got a few colleges that I’m looking at, a few programs I want to get into,” said Leah Bartolotta, a junior at Southgate Anderson. She’s looking to get into psychology or veterinary medicine and said Wednesday’s event was informative.

“I found out veterinary (medicine) is hard to get into.”

Schultz said officials hope to host another MACRAO event in the near future.