Come one, come all


At the Cal State LA College Fair on Sept. 29, Cristina Mendoza,12, takes the opportunity to compare different schools and get ideas from the available institutions, like UC Santa Cruz. Ranging from Yale to USC, colleges of many different statuses set up booths to provide information for the high school students that attended.

Irene Luna, Editor-in-Cheif

Cal State Los Angeles held the Fifth Annual 58th Assembly District College Fair on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for students and parents within the school districts invited.  The day began with registration for the scholarship lottery and a welcoming ceremony from Ian Calderon, Majority Leader Charles Calderon, and other volunteers and staff members.  Then, everyone was turned loose and the ballroom filled with people rushing to their dream college’s booth.

“The many colleges that attended covered almost the whole spectrum of the type of colleges students want to attend,” Aimee Ira, senior, said.  “Also, we were well taken care of. Especially the bags given to us so we can put the college information inside.”

Over thirty colleges participated in this fair, ranging from the University of California, Santa Cruz to Glendale Community College, along with a couple out of state universities attended as well, like the University of Oregon and Yale University.  Some of these schools have even visited Downey High’s campus.  Students and parents were able to ask representatives about housing, available majors, internship programs, and specifics about the application process.

“What I like about this event is I can see my options in front of me, and I can realistically choose who I want to talk to and who I’m going to take seriously about applying,” senior Sonia Graham said.

Many people waited around to listen to the financial aid workshop presentation in Spanish from 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  It was given again in English from 11:30 am to 12:20 pm, and that group was much larger.  The spokesperson went over guidelines and various topics from a PowerPoint, like eligibility for the monetary assistance.  Living expenses, books, tuition fees and supplies are all ways the financial aid can be used.  Scholarships, grants, work-study jobs and student loans are all ways the money can be gained.  He provided specific examples and analogies to relate how financial assistance works for students and how much it can really help out.

“Most of what he was saying I already knew,” senior Natalie Hurtado said, “except how he said even though parents are signing and getting the loans for us, we [the students] are the ones responsible for them.”

Finally, the scholarship lottery was held in the final hour of the event.  “Shake [the box] up!” was audible from the crowd during the drawing, as it was live. Ten lucky winners—one from the city of Downey—were handed $500 towards education for them.

All in all, most everyone who attended this event left with a better understanding about the aspects of the college world.