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CCSD students explore college options at CCSD College Fair

CCSD College FairEaston Flores was one of dozens of students who braved an early season snowstorm to visit the annual Cherry Creek Schools College Fair, held at Grandview High School on Nov. 3. The weather is one factor in his college search.

“For me, it’s been a little cold here, so I want to go somewhere warmer,” said Flores, who is a junior at Grandview. “I’m looking at a lot of schools in California, Arizona. Tonight, I want to expand that, so that’s why I’m looking at Texas schools, Ohio schools, and stuff like that.”

CCSD College FairThe Cherry Creek Schools College Fair was a great place for Flores to learn more about a wide range of institutions from across the country, including community colleges, junior colleges, and four-year colleges and universities, both in-state and out-of-state colleges. The fair is held every fall at a different CCSD high school.

“It gives students the opportunity to see a wide variety of the different types of colleges and universities that are out there,” explained Jill Horan, a counselor and the post-grad coordinator at Grandview. “They can get information about the application process, scholarships, financial aid, and so much more.”

That’s the kind of information Flores and fellow GHS junior Ben Crandall were looking for, but they also wanted information about collegiate athletics. Both play baseball at Grandview: Flores is a pitcher and Crandall plays third base. He said the College Fair was valuable in that area too.

“I got a lot of information that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise and learned a lot of things that I wouldn’t have known to do, to go through the recruiting process,” Crandall said.

CCSD College FairThe fair was open to high school students from across the Cherry Creek School District’s 108-square miles. Cherokee Trail High School freshman Joy Bello brought her father along.

“I wanted to explore and see what options I have,” said Bello, who is interested in both nursing and law.  “I hope to learn about what the colleges have to offer and what I need to do in order to prepare.”

“I want her to go to a nice college that is sound in whatever course she wants to study,” Cogi Bello said. “But also important are the values and the culture of the college. That’s equally important to me. I believe that education is more than the technical piece, it has to be all-around,” he added.

Counselor Horan said the College Fair is valuable for freshmen and sophomores as they start their college planning.

“They’re just learning about it, seeing what’s out there, getting a feel for what types of colleges and universities are out there,” she said.

A student’s junior year is especially critical for those who plan to go to college.

CCSD College Fair“If you’re a junior, this is the prime time to start building the list of colleges you’re interested in,” Horan said. She added that by November of a student’s senior year, many students have already applied to the schools they’re interested in but are still looking for additional scholarship and financial aid information, as well as information about grants and work study programs.

As Cogi Bello walked with his daughter from table to table and listened as she talked with different college representatives, he was grateful that Cherry Creek Schools holds annual college fairs, which give students an easy way to explore their options.

“Absolutely. This is really helpful,” he said.

Cherry Creek Schools will host another college fair on Feb. 3, 2023. The 5th Annual HBCU/HSI/NASI College Fair highlights Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), and Native American Serving Institutions (NASI). Get more information here.

Posted 11/7/2022.