Fairdale seniors said they search websites and Google for colleges to learn about what different schools offer. But for the six JCPS schools with the Close the Deal program, students can ask those questions directly to college representatives.
JCPS has offered the program in certain schools for four years. Close the Deal offers students the chance to meet with college representatives and discuss financial aid, admissions and college-life, said Fischer.
“So if you’re thinking to yourself I’m not sure I can do it, for whatever reason, just know again with all your counselors and all the support you have here, ask the questions. Get serious about it,” he said.
Although having a college degree earns extra money, it’s not the only reason to go to college, said Fischer.
“You get the privilege of earning a million-and-a-half dollars more for the rest of your life by having the greatest time in your life over the next four years while you go to college,” he said.
The program is a partnership between Greater Louisville Inc., JCPS and Metro Government. It began at Valley Traditional High School in 2008. JCPS says college attendance at the school increased 200 percent the next year.
The program also attempts to increase interest for students who would be the first in their family to pursue post-secondary education.
If enough students are interested in a certain college, a representative will revisit the school later in the year, said Dana Shumate, coordinator for JCPS Business Involvement.
It’s difficult to include all JCPS High Schools in the program because scheduling with the various colleges is difficult, she said.
JCPS says each school with the Close the Deal program has increased the amount of scholarship money won by students.
Schools with “Close the Deal” include: Seneca, Iroquois, Valley, Western, Waggener and Fairdale.