USFSM, Manatee schools to show every student can attend college

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: February 08, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2016) For the first time, USF Sarasota-Manatee is teaming up with Manatee County Title I middle schools to show that every student can go to college.

“We want to send the message to our families that their hopes and dreams for their children can happen and that college is an option and is more accessible than ever,” said Cheryl Evans, specialist for Title I programs at the Manatee County School District.

Parents will join eighth-grade students from Sara Scott Harllee Middle School, Lincoln Memorial Middle School, Electa Lee Magnet Middle School, Manatee Charter Middle School, Oasis Middle School, W.D. Sugg Middle School and Team Success, a K-8 public charter school, for a two-hour information session Wednesday at the campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

More than 150 students and family members are expected at the event, which includes visits with admissions counselors, guided tours of the campus and an appearance by USF mascot Rocky D. Bull. The session, dubbed Manatee College Day, starts 5:30 p.m. at the Selby Auditorium.

“The purpose of this event is geared toward showing the students that we are an option for them,” said Sean Grosso, coordinator of the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at USFSM. “We want to help them with questions about going to college. Of course we want them to come to USF Sarasota-Manatee, but more importantly we just hope that they would go to college.”

Many students in Title I schools come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, but that shouldn’t preclude them from seeking a college education, said Grosso. He added that several grant and scholarship programs exist to make college affordable and accessible to nearly anyone.

The district chose to invite eighth-graders because research shows many students and parents start thinking about college by the student’s middle school years. Also, it’s important for students at that time to start focusing more intently on their studies if they hope to attend college.

Transportation will be provided for the parents and students to get to the USFSM campus.

For more information, contact Cheryl Evans, Title I specialist at the Manatee County School District, (941) 751-6550, ext. 2060.

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