Tables were stocked with information. The smell of fresh, hot pizza permeated the room. And hundreds of attendees filed in to participate.
This was the scene for College Night, a time when prospective students can glean information from admissions and financial aid specialists from Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University officials.
This term’s event, co-sponsored by RCC and SOU, was funded by the Educational Credit Management Corporation, and was held in the Higher Education Center Nov. 8 for non-admitted students of all ages.
Space was limited to the first 400 attendees. Sources report between 300 and 400 potential students attended.
Four Power Point presentations were held in various rooms around the Riverside campus covering topics from choosing the right college for you, understanding the financial aid process, and scholarship searches and scams
“Tonight is all about expanding awareness about Financial aid scholarships, general application info and having success applying for FASFA and OSAC” said Jason Fiano, TRiO coordinator and coordinator for the College Night event.
Katy Wicks, an RCC recruiter, and Courtney Lucas, an employee with TRiO’s Educational Talent Search program, were two of the presenter’s for the event. Filiberto Bencomo, coordinator of Latino programs, was a volunteer for the Hispanic community and presented the seminar in Spanish.
“College Night is generated towards junior and senior high school students who are looking to further their education as well as the nontraditional students who have been away from the educational system for any period of time,” Fiano said.
Parents and students crammed into the G building lobby waiting in line for pizza and soda provided to attendees. Reportedly, 95 pizzas were ordered for the crowd.
Attendees found themselves fighting for room to sit, with many on the ground or stairs.
Tour groups were led by the Associated Student Government.
Not only were potential students being educated on the college experience, but a $500 scholarship was awarded to four potential students. ECMC provided the scholarships for the students. Scholarships are refundable at any college or higher education facility at time of registration.
Scholarship winners included Lola Perez, a 44-year-old mother returning to school.
“I learned a lot and got a lot of information out of it,” Perez said. “Very good presentation, very informative.”
Taylor Degiulio, an Illinois Valley High School senior, was another of the winners
“It was good and informative and very entertaining,” she said.
Brittney Johnson, a senior at Crater High School, in the Renaissance Academy, said, “It was high energy and fun, very informative.”
Johnson is planning on attending South Western Community College on the southern Oregon Coast and enrolling in the culinary arts program there.
Ana Duarte a returning student, and a recent mother, said “I loved it” when asked about the seminar
“It was a successful turn out, all but one seminar was full,” said Fiano when asked how he felt the night went.