More than 1,000 Central Florida high school students and community college students flocked to Valencia’s East Campus on Thursday to attend College Night 2011 and learn about their college options.
There, they got the chance to talk to admissions representatives from 121 colleges and universities across the country were at the event, which was free and open to the public.
The Oct. 6 event, held at Valencia’s East Campus, was the second of two College Night 2011 events. The first, held Oct. 4 at Valencia’s Osceola Campus, attracted more than 1,200 students, while the second drew a crowd of more than 1,100 students.
Representatives came from universities as diverse as Yale and Cornell to Ohio State University and Indiana University. Small colleges were present too, including colleges such as Lees-McRae College, a North Carolina college with 700 students. Colleges and universities from throughout Florida, from Rollins College to Florida State University, sent admissions officers to the event too.
Students who attended the event got the chance to talk to campus representatives and alumni about everything related to college, from admissions requirements to financial aid, degrees and programs and campus housing. “They want to know about specific majors, about campus life, scholarships and, in my case, what the Raleigh (N.C.) area is like,” said Jesse Monroe, a representative from Meredith College in North Carolina.
Harry Wang, 17, a Chinese student who’s in his senior year at Montverde Academy, a boarding school in Lake County, wants to study engineering and finance. So Wang and his friend, 18-year-old Montverde senior Tom Lu, headed for the tables manned by representatives from Michigan State University and Ohio State University. “We are looking for schools that are strong in engineering,” Wang said. “Michigan State’s pretty good and UF is pretty good, so we’re interested in those schools.”
Amie Waldmiller, a junior at Winter Park High School, has her heart set on attending University of North Carolina-Charlotte, but she went to College Night to check out the alternatives. “I love North Carolina overall — and if I go to school there, I will be about an hour away from family,” she said, “so I’m going to visit other North Carolina colleges.”
Others were more interested in staying closer to home. Ariel Adorno, 18, graduated from University High School in 2010 and took a year-long break from schooling. Now she’s ready to go back to college and, at College Night, she’d already settled on her choice — Valencia College. “I like Valencia. It’s close to home and, since I want to study photography and Valencia has a good arts department, I think I’ll like it here,” Adorno said.
For more information on College Night 2011, visit valenciacollege.edu/transitions/collegenight.