One-by-one, college recruiters from Hawai'i to Vermont stood in front of college-bound students and their parents at on Tuesday night.
They gave quick 30-second pitches, touching on a couple strengths of their universities. Some emphasized the school's location (Seton Hall, 14 miles from New York); some talked about the school's specialty (Bennington College, liberal arts); a couple bragged about the strength of their athletic departments (Syracuse); one mentioned that the dorms had memory foam mattresses (Saint Louis); two stressed they were really easy to be accepted to (University of Nevada, University of New Mexico).
But, what would have been almost unthinkable just a couple years ago, none of the more than three dozen recruiters were representing California universities.
As tuition at University of California and California State Universities has steadily increased over the last decade, the financial incentive for California students to stay in-state has become less appealing. The college recruiters, which are part of the Regional Admission Counselors of California organization, said the average cost to attend UCs is around $31,200 a year, for CSUs about $22,000 and for out-of-state schools about $27,000.
But not only are the out-of-state schools becoming appealing to students, universities from around the country want Californians walking on their campus. Many of the universities are offering scholarships just for students that are from California.
"For us, we want to improve our diversity on our campuses," said Ed Devine, who was the main speaker at the fair and a representative for Hawai'i Pacific University. "With so many kids graduating from California high schools and the budget problems in the state, it gives us a chance to bring some exceptional students to our universities."
It was the first time Dougherty Valley hosted an out-of-state college fair and nearly all of the 400 seats in the Commons Gym were filled. Students from Dougherty Valley, , , , along with students from outside the immediate area, attended the fair.
"I'm very pleased with the turnout," said Jill Schratz, the Career Center coordinator at Dougherty Valley. "I thought the presentation was informative and it gave people a chance to pickup information on the schools at the booths."
Jeff and Marie Anderson were at the fair helping out their son, a Cal High junior, scout out schools and said they thought going out-of-state was a viable option.
"It's a reasonable solution to the rising costs in the state," Jeff said.
"Going out of state can be expensive too, traveling back and forth, but a lot of these schools offer great scholarships for students from California," Marie said.
One student carrying a handful brochures was Parker Newton, a student at in Dublin. He wants to study computer science and after talking to some of the recruiters, he was excited about possibly going to Drexel, Purdue or the University of New Mexico.
"I think it's good to get out of the protective shell of California," Newton said. "There are great opportunities in the state too, but I want to see a different part of the country."