DHS College Fair fosters student success

Hundreds of high school students and college recruiters came from near and far last week to attend Denison High School’s most exciting and successful College Fair ever.

According to DHS lead counselor Carrie Boettger, more than 70 college representatives were on hand to welcome and answer questions from more than 1,500 DHS students including two groups who arrived on buses from Durant and Whitewright. Included in the colleges and institutions were Grayson, Southeastern, Austin College, TWU and North Texas as well as Texas A&M, UT, SMU, numerous out-of-state universities, several fine arts institutions, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and dozens of others.

“Our goal is to help all Texoma students find long-term success and fulfillment in all areas of their lives, which is why we invite students from other school districts to attend our college fairs,” said Boettger. “When everyone is successful, our entire region, state and nation reap benefits.”

The representatives from colleges and institutions were as diverse as the students who visited their display booths, sharing vital information on everything from tuition, financial aid, scholarships and out-of-state waivers to cost estimates for housing, books and food.

"Tuition rate hikes over the past decade have been substantial," said Boettger. "Financial aid is definitely available, but parents and students need to know where to look...and how to navigate the system. Some students choose to attend a local community college and live at home before transferring to a university which can help families save money. So can low-cost loans, grants and scholarships. Planning is key. We try to guide our students as best we can, starting with PEP (Pre-Enrollment Planning) sessions for all eighth graders and their families. The College Fair is just another component to successful planning for all students, whether they’re college-bound or planning to enter the workforce after graduation."

Boettger says each year, DHS seniors are awarded several million dollars in scholarship money, which eases the financial burden for many students.

“Right now, seniors need to be applying to the institutions that best fit their educational and financial needs. Most grants and scholarships are awarded directly from the colleges; therefore, it is very important to apply early,” stated Boettger. "With careful planning and good information, college can be a very rewarding and successful experience for everyone involved."

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