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Shopping for a college

LIHUE — Choosing a college isn’t easy — especially when most are several thousand miles away. But on Monday, those in the market for higher education can check out more than 70 of them in one place.

Colleges from more than 15 states will be represented at a college fair from 9-11 a.m. in the Island School gymnasium.

“We do this annually and everyone is welcome. We even hope to have a few homeschools (at the event),” said Joan Shaw, Island School counselor. “We’re trying to provide opportunities for Kauai students and access to college.”

Shaw said most of the time, Kauai students go to college sight-unseen because of high travel expenses.

“It’s really expensive and sometimes prohibitive for students here to visit schools on the Mainland,” said Patti Pears, an educational consulter who helped organize the event. “It’s important that the students have a chance to connect with the experts, the actual people that will be reading their applications.”

Buses from Kauai’s high schools will bring students who signed up to the event. Some select middle school students will be joining the fair, as well.

“We have some middle schools that have programs for those first generation, lower income students that have a ton of potential,” Shaw said. “Those programs give them extra support.”

Island School is also hosting a discussion panel with several colleges from 4-6 p.m Sunday.

“We wanted to have some more selective-type colleges for the discussion panel,” Shaw said. “These are colleges where there are more students applying than they could possibly accept and so they look at other things besides just GPA and test scores.”

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