BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Choosing which college to go to is one of the biggest decisions high school students make. So it was no surprise that around 1,200 students showed up Monday to pack the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum for a college fair.
For many students, preparing for college can be frightening.
"I'm really scared about going to college," said Quineitra McCullum, a senior at Ocean Springs High School.
According Quineitra, she came to the college fair to learn more about the opportunities for her future. The fair featured more than 60 institutions with dozens of program to offer.
"They're giving me a lot of information that I need to know," said Quineitra. "Because I haven't been anywhere to get information for college."
The overall goal of the fair is to give students the tools needed to make an informed college decision.
"A lot of these kids wont get to go and make college visits," said event coordinator Bobbie Jones, who is a counselor at Ocean Springs High. "This may be their only opportunity at a face to face meeting."
Jones uses the event to get students to dig deeper and investigate potential career paths.
"We want to motivate them to move on and move up," Jones said.
As a junior, Nathan Risley is using what he learns at the fair to plan his next move.
"I'm very glad I came to the fair today. A lot of people are blind and say that college is good," said Nathan."Of course every college says that, but its really about what interests you that will take you to the next level."
According to Nathan, the fair gives students more insight into each institution.
"When you come here, you can experience it yourself and come up with your own idea of the school," said Nathan.
The fair is hosted annually by the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Mississippi Counselors Association. The profit the association makes from the participating institutions goes towards its scholarship fund.