CHS attends UNT College Night

Story by Rebecca Neumann
Entertainment Editor
Video by Josh Brunelli and Courtney Echerd

On Sept. 21, college representatives from all across the country gathered into the University of North Texas Coliseum to pitch their schools to the hopeful students from the North Texas area. Over 180 colleges were present at the event, 20 more than the year before.

CHS previously held a similar, more local event at the school. However, as the UNT event grew, less colleges attended and Coppell discontinued it. The UNT college night has been taking place for six or seven years.

UNT representative and College Night organizer Jason Peacock uses College Night to recruit as well as facilitate student-university interaction.

“We offer this as a convenience for Lewisville, Coppell, Denton, Keller, because we have the facilities to accommodate that many schools,” he said. “As a recruiter, when I’m on the other side of the table, we appreciate [the event] because we get to see a lot of students in a short period of time. So we host it to help the school districts but also to ensure that the students from the schools have an adequate number of reps to talk to.”

And there certainly were a great number of reps. The coliseum was filled with eager students and hopeful reps.

“It has always been very crowded,” Peacock said.” It seems that we have a few more people here this year. It seems that the turnout has been very good this year.”

There has been an increase in the number of out-of-state schools being represented at the event. Northeastern State University recruiter Cody Bourque said out of state universities are hoping to lure Texas students into looking at a different kind of college.

“A lot of folks [in the area] when they first look at colleges and universities, they look at the big schools, the University of Texas, Texas A&M,” he said. “But it’s really great to get to know the smaller schools, to open your mind to new horizons. And not even just schools in general but we have a lot of folks from the military here, some folks might not have been thinking about it, but it really broadens up whatever you think may be and helps give a new perspective.”

“You have a lot of universities from all over the country here too because especially in this area there’s a wealth of great students, a great number of great students, that there’s a need for recruiters to be here.”

Peacock agrees that the increase has to do with the great number of North Texas high school graduates.

“We have had a few new [colleges] in the course of the last few years because there are so many high school students that are graduating from Texas high schools,” he said. “We’re seeing a much larger number of out of state colleges that are actively recruiting in Texas, so definitely in the past five or six years we’ve seen a lot more out-of-state colleges.”

CHS counselor Debbie Fruithandler also attended college night to help encourage Coppell students to visit different booths. She believes that students who attend college night have a leg up on those who do not.

“It is important to come to college night so that students can get in a good overall view of the options that are available to them for secondary education,” she said. “The other thing that’s good about it is that sometimes the people that they are meeting are the actual admissions reps that will be reading their applications and sometimes when you can put a face to the name, it gives you a leg up.”

Fruithandler confirmed that many college look at how often a student fills out an information card, which are given out during college visits and college nights, to see how committed the student is to the school before deciding on their admission status.

“Texas A&M is really big on looking at how often a student shows and interest in the school,” she said. “They look and see how many times you’ve been down there and really look at your interest and that you know what you’re getting in to.”

Despite being overwhelmed by the number of colleges, students received a lot of opportunities from College Night. Now whether they took advantage of it or not is up to them.