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Life after high school

Hundreds of Federal Way high school students crammed into the Decatur High School performing arts center for “Life After High School.”

Presented by the five Federal Way high schools, the Oct. 17 event featured seminars and booths from four-year universities, two-year colleges, technical colleges, specialty schools, the military, Job Corps and apprenticeships.

This list included the state’s four-year universities such as Western Washington University, Washington State University, University of Washington and Central Washington University. It also showcased several private schools including Gonzaga University, Pacific Lutheran University and Seattle Pacific University.

Seminars offered advice for getting into college, including SATs and ACTs, as well as help writing college applications. There were also seminars on how to pay for college, which is a growing concern for many. The Department of Education puts the average cost of one year of public college in Washington state at over $10,000.

Speaker Rashad Norris advised students to research colleges they want to attend.

“Look at their Web sites for scholarships,” Norris said. “But be wary of scams. If you have to pay money to get money, it is probably a scam.”

Most students spent most of their time wandering through the dozens of booths with representatives, finding out about a college they thought of attending or even finding a new possibility.

Thomas Jefferson senior Alex Hardy, who has aspirations of being a chef, learned more about Renton Technical School’s culinary program as well as a new college to think about, Western Culinary.

“I think it’s a good event,” Hardy said. “I wouldn’t have even known about the other (school).”

Representatives from different colleges were happy as well. Gay Liesse of Cottey College, a two-year women’s college in Nevada, Miss., said that she comes to this event every year, but this one had a lot more people than in the past.

“I am very impressed,” Liesse said. “It’s nice in here, very festive and all the tables are identified.”

Teachers encouraged Todd Beamer senior Shante Lane to attend the event, although she says she wasn’t quite sure before she went.

“It was really helpful,” Lane said. “I am now definitely thinking of PLU and maybe some Highline (Community College) over the summer.”

Decatur High School career and college specialist Susanne Font estimated that the event attracted somewhere between 500 and 1,000 people.

“I think it went really well,” Font said. “What’s hard is getting everyone here early enough for the seminars. It was my first time but it was really busy and the reps said they really liked it.”

Contact Kyra Low: klow@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

More online

www.Scholarships.com: A search engine that matches your information with scholarships available locally and nationwide.

www.fastweb.com: This Web site helps students find scholarships as well as match colleges with preferences regarding size, location and other attributes. It also searches for internships and jobs.

www.princetonreview.com: This Web site offers a look at potential schools, scholarships, help with choosing majors, advice on tests and the application process.

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