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August 20. 2012 10:33PM

For seniors, it's never too early to think about college

LONDONDERRY — Local school officials are wasting no time preparing this year's high school seniors for their college careers.

On Sept. 15, Londonderry High School will host the free “College Saturday” program for district seniors and their parents.

The event, which is being held in conjunction with the N.H. Higher Education Association Foundation (NHHEAF), consists of multiple workshops focusing on standardized testing, the college admissions process, financial aid applications and the art of composing the perfect college essay.

A panel of representatives from local colleges, including the University of New Hampshire, Keene State, Southern N.H. University, New England College, Rivier University, Johnson and Wales University and Nashua Community College, will be on hand to answer questions and offer pointers to local college hopefuls.

Though the high school has hosted a variety of events geared at college preparation over the years, there hasn't been much focus on the topic in the early months of the academic year, said Guidance Director Mike Dolphin. Dolphin has hosted a free class for parents of soon-to-be college freshmen for the past eight years, and the high school holds various college-centered events already, though the majority of them take place a bit later in the year.

“I just felt a change was overdue, and the (topic of applying for college) kind of loses a little steam from September through January,” Dolphin said on Monday.

Working closely with the staff of NHHEAF, the program is bound to offer something for everyone, with emphasis on both two-year and four-year programs.

Keynote speaker Megan Mak, a member of Londonderry High School's Class of 2012, will share with her younger peers her own experiences applying to colleges.

Mak, who will attend Southern NH University's three-year business program this fall, can personally attest to the success of the high school's college partnership, according to Dolphin.

“We wanted to have a student come out and talk openly about what his or her own experiences were like,” he said.

An honor student while at LHS, Mak had many options available to her when it came to college, Dolphin said, but she ultimately decided on SNHU after learning of the impressive opportunities available through the college partnership.

“Because of our relationship with SNHU, Megan was able to earn $17,000 in scholarship funds, and she'll have the chance to begin her MBA studies during her fourth year in college,” said Dolphin.

College Saturday will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15, in the high school cafeteria. No registration is required, and all district seniors and their parents are encouraged to attend.

Parents and students will gather for a free continental breakfast at 8 a.m. The event will conclude at approximately 1 p.m.
For more information, contact the district office at 432-6920, ext. 1102.
aguilmet@newstote.com


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