READING, Pa. - Graduation ceremonies for area colleges are underway. This month may be the end of the college school year, but many are thinking about the beginning.
At the Berks County College Fair hundreds of high school students came out with their parents to learn what it takes to get into a four-year college. And they found out why the price tag shouldn't stop them from applying.
It takes more than good grades to get into a good school. At the Albright College Gymnasium Monday night students were finding out from 150 colleges exactly what it takes.
"I'm not sure exactly what college I want to go to," said Tiffani Nonnemaker, a Exeter High School student, "So, this is a good chance to see all the colleges."
But school isn't cheap and it's top of mind for many families.
"You have to get started early because there's a lot of competition to find a good school," said parent, Brian Garman. "Finances are a big thing. So, it doesn't pay to wait."
"The first question they're always going to ask, 'What is your average SAT score?' and the second question they're always going to ask, is 'How much do you cost?'" said Chris Boehm, Albright College's director of admissions.
"I don't want to be in debt at 20 years old," said Diana Arroyo, a Berks Catholic High School student.
Every college has a different price tag, but high school counselors said that shouldn't be the focus.
"Well, I actually tell them to not to look at the sticker price because a lot of times they do get scholarships, and financial aid," said Beth Burnham, Muhlenberg High School's career counselor.
"They never know what's going to be in their financial aid package. So, they can't look at that and shy away from a school because of the sticker price. They have to try and get some scholarships," Burnham added.
Arroyo came to the Berks County College Fair with her mom. She wants to study nursing. If she goes to college as she plans, she'll be the first in her family.
"I have brothers so I want them to follow my steps," said Arroyo.
Her mom said in Spanish she is very proud of her daughter. And Diana made sure she didn't just ask about the nursing programs. She asked about financial aid and scholarships too.
"Because I want to get a head start," said Arroyo.
Allentown, PA 18102