Hundreds Of Tulsa Area High School Students Attend College Fair

Sunday, September 12th 2010, 9:14 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The economy poses challenges for aspiring college students.

Hundreds of Tulsa area high school students went to a college fair Sunday, but how many will be able to afford their dream school?

An uncertain economy means the cost of tuition remains a challenge, which means more students are choosing to stay home.

One hundred thirty-five colleges and universities from all over the country set up shop at the "College Connection," an annual event held at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. But the most popular booths were those manned by the local schools.

"Everybody from Oklahoma is here. It is an awesome opportunity to get information from out of state schools," said Stacy Loeffler of College Connection.

OSU says that since the recession began, its in-state applications have increased and its enrollment is up. It's a trend admissions officers expect to continue this year.

"A lot of parents want to know more about scholarships and financial aid, what their students are able to get so they can stay in school, stay in-state," said Molly Hamlin-James, with OSU admissions.

The draw of more affordable tuition appeals to many of the students, and more importantly parents, who were window shopping for colleges Sunday.

"The schools all offer financial aid and stuff like that, but from just a personal financial issue, it's going to be a big burden," said Lane Littlefield, who is a parent.

"Of course every kid dreams of going to an Ivy League school, but with tuition, like you said Northwestern is $50,000 a year, so I'm probably going to go to in-state college for now," said Rosemary Pope, who is a Booker T. Washington junior.

It's an option many students may be willing to live with, but some parents are still encouraging a national search.

Organizers say the College Connection usually draws more than 150 schools, but say that number is down slightly because of decreased travel budgets.