Hillsdale County Community Foundation is doing all it can to encourage high school kids to go to college.
The HCCF hosted over 70 colleges from Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio at their 12th annual college fair in Hillsdale College’s Searle Center. Over 300 students from across Hillsdale County attended, and the HCCF also had a booth with information about the scholarships the organization offers.
“A lot of our students do not have the opportunity to visit colleges, so their knowledge is very limited,” said HCCF President Sharon Bisher. “We are grateful for the support of the schools and Hillsdale College for this great community event, where a lot of people come together for the benefit of our young people.”
According to Bisher, 60 percent of Hillsdale County high school seniors will attend college after graduation. Only 50 percent, however, stay after the first year, and only 15 percent will earn a certification after four years.
“But those numbers are rising,” Bisher said. “We are really trying to focus on the trades and certifications, as well as two- and four-year degrees.”
Bisher said Hillsdale County is in need of skilled trade workers.
Hillsdale high school seniors Ella Lewas and Hunter Sharp attended the college fair. Both expressed interested in attending college. Lewas said she is looking for schools with ultrasound technician programs, and Sharp is deciding between pre-law and pre-medicine.
“This event helps me to narrow down which colleges have what I’m looking for,” Sharp said. “And I can see what the schools have to offer with my own eyes instead of just a computer screen.”
Last year, the HCCF awarded over 100 different scholarships worth $200,000 to the county’s youth. All Hillsdale County seniors are eligible to apply for scholarships from HCCF. The criteria for each scholarship are outlined by their respective donors, and the applications are due March 1.