College Fair returns to Aspen
October 2, 2009
ASPEN – Up to 180 colleges, universities and technical institutions from around the country will be represented during the fifth annual Western Slope College Fair, scheduled 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Aspen High School.
From its inaugural year, attendance has more than tripled and is expected to exceed last year’s 1,500 students, plus their parents. High school students from more than 60 schools on the Western Slope, spread across 21 counties, have been invited, and 25,000 postcards in English and Spanish were mailed out to encourage teens to get involved in their future.
With the average college costing between $15,000 and $50,000 a year, it’s no surprise that paying for college has become an even greater concern for students and parents considering the nation’s failing economy, say fair organizers. To help ease these concerns, several 45-minute workshops will take place during the fair. Students will have an opportunity to attend two workshops and still have time to meet with individual representatives. Other workshop topics include: Highly Selective Colleges, The College Bound Student Athlete, Financial Aid for All, and Finding the College that is Rights for You.
The organizer of the college fair, Kathy Klug, said the nonprofit event relies on 40 volunteers and generous sponsorship from Aspen Education Foundation, Alpine Bank, Encana and the Aspen School District in order to cover the $25,000 bill.
Seventeen buses from all over the Western Slope will file into the parking lot at Aspen High, hauling students, parents and counselors. The number of buses is up three times from last year, so attendance is expected to exceed the 1,500 teens and parents from 2008. Parking is expected to be tight at the school and a free shuttle has been arranged to leave every 10 minutes from the Buttermilk Ski Area, located on Highway 82.
“Interest among students in higher education is up,” Klug said. “They understand that education is key to achieving a lifetime of sustainability.”