College Info Road Show Bus Pays a Visit to Jackson County

For three days students from Jackson County Middle and High School climbed aboard the College Info Road Show school bus for information sessions on scholarships and preparing for college. The visit was part of an ongoing effort of Berea College’s GEAR UP Partnership with Jackson County Schools.Mark Hoover is the College Info Road Show Coordinator for the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, or KHEAA. He paid the students of Jackson County a special visit to make sure they know about the scholarship opportunities available to all of them. “They have to realize that the decisions they make in the next five years are the most important decisions they will ever make in their lives,” he said. “So the earlier the better.”

The College Info Road Show bus travels to all 120 counties in Kentucky to talk to students about furthering their education and financial aid opportunities to help them do so. The bus is equipped with satellite Internet access and computer stations for each student so they can research all the college information they need.

While in Jackson County, Hoover met with groups of around ten students to discuss the importance of keeping a high grade point average, or GPA, and getting a good ACT score so they will receive scholarship money. Hoover wanted to emphasize the KEES scholarship in particular because it is available to every Kentucky high school student who attends an accredited institution and makes at least a 2.5 GPA. The higher GPA and ACT score a student has, the more money they receive, with the average being $1,200 per student.

Hoover made sure the students knew that scholarships are not only based on their GPA and ACT, although those are very important factors, but they can also be based on a demonstrated talent, whether that is academic, athletic, musical, or artistic talent. “I didn’t realize the ACT was connected to KHEAA in the first place. I just thought it had to do with grades and report cards,” said Benjamin Rose, an 8th-grader who has already had experience with taking the ACT. “The KHEAA bus encouraged me to try better in school, especially learning about the money.”

Brandy Elam agreed. “The event helped me learn about college and careers,” she said. Elam, an 8th grader at Jackson County Middle School, is interested in attending EKU and becoming a hair dresser.

The bus visit was organized by Loretta Rose, GEAR UP Academic Specialist for Jackson County, who believes that middle school is not too early to plan for after high school. “Students need to start planning for their future. It’s just like building a house. If you don’t have a good foundation, then once you start building the house it will collapse. If you don’t have a good foundation in your education, you can’t wait until your senior year,” she said. “You’re not going to have that background knowledge.”

The College Info Road Show has now moved on to its next stop, but it left behind many students who are committed to trying harder in school and attending college one day.

To find out more about KHEAA and the College Info Road Show bus, visit them online at www.KHEAA.com. To find out more about GEAR UP, call (859) 985-3857, or learn about us online at www.partners.berea.edu.

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