It’s that time of the year again when parents, teachers and guidance counselors are trying to get high school kids to think about their higher education. On the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 12 approximately 40 people attended the College Nights presentation by the Educational Credit Management Corporation and the Lane Community College financial aid office.
The ECMC does College Nights in Oregon, California, Connecticut and Virginia. Their materials are generally presented by college officials and volunteers.
Three Lane staff members from the financial aid office, Christopher Hainley, Elisa Lais and Dacia Smith presented this year’s materials.
The first part of the presentation was titled ‘how college can change your life.’ This section was covered by Lais and included unemployment and income rates of college grads, how to choose a good college and what to expect when applying. “College is more than just a higher income, it’s a pathway to enjoying your life more,” Lais said.
The second part of the presentation was all about paying for college. “The FAFSA strikes fear in everybody’s heart,” Hainley, who has worked in financial aid for 20 years, said. He went on to talk about how to handle the Federal Application For Student Aid and why it’s so important for students.
The final part of the presentation covered scholarship searches and scams. “Instead of driving around in a nice, fancy sports car, I’m paying a lot of money to the Department of Ed. Don’t follow in my footsteps,” Smith said. She discussed where to look for scholarships, how to spot a scam and tips for applying.
Between topics, the organizers held drawings for College Nights t-shirts, and three students won $500 scholarships.