Seniors ‘gearing up’ for application process

By: By Kristy D. Carter -

Clinton High School senior Hampton Brock has spent the last three years preparing for the next chapter in his life. While his final choice for colleges has yet to be determined, Brock says the annual College Gear Up Day will be very beneficial in helping him make his decision.

The annual College Gear Up Day will be held in conjunction with open houses Thursday, Aug. 24, from 6-7:30 p.m., as well as Friday, Aug. 25, from 10-11:30 a.m. for those families who are unable to attend the first session.

According to Tony Blount, college adviser for Clinton High School, rising seniors are invited to attend and receive organizational materials, assistance with college applications and scholarship information. In the past, the event was held as a joint-effort between Clinton City Schools and Sampson County Schools, but this year

“Our goal is to give students the background information they need to start on the right path,” Blount said. “Early admissions has its perks and we want to prepare our students in August to get geared up and ready for the upcoming year.”

Throughout a seniors final year of high school, they are faced with many challenges and decisions that need to be made. The purpose of the information sessions is provide information the seniors need to make the first step in applying to colleges.

“Our students start off their senior year further ahead than other students across the state,” Blount explained.

During this year’s session, Blount said she will provide the seniors with materials that will be used throughout their senior year. Information covers topics like college admissions, scholarships, financial aid, essay writing, letters of recommendations and sending transcripts.

Brock, who has definite plans to attend a four-year university, says he is unsure about the college application process, but is certain College Gear Up Day will help.

“I have no idea what to do in terms of the college application process,” Brock said. “I think the College Gear Up will definitely help me with applications and recommendations. I like the idea that current college students will be there. They will be able to give great advice that will help me too.”

In addition to information about the application process, attendees will have a chance to learn how to write a personal statement — which some college require — prepare resumes and initiate financial aid options.

“Anything that deals with the funding and the application process we will cover that night and follow up with individual students and parents in our schools throughout the school year,” Blount said.

For students in Sampson County, the college process begins in eighth grade. Blount said they visit the middle schools each year and introduce the upcoming freshmen to the college experience by helping set up College Foundation of North Carolina accounts.

“We really encourage all students to think about the college life,” Blount said. “While that doesn’t always mean the four year route, living in a dorm and eating at a dining hall, the students need to realize there is an option for everyone.”

So far, more than 25 colleges or agencies, along with military personnel, have signed up for the event.

“Students learn they have the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat and know they have a plan for after graduation,” Blount said. “We want our students to begin thinking about college early.”

Sampson Community College will be hosting a county-wide financial aid night Sept. 19 and a College Fair Nov. 9.

Representatives from colleges across the state will be available during College Gear Up Day at Clinton High School. from colleges across the state will be available during College Gear Up Day at Clinton High School.

By Kristy D. Carter

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.