Nearly one hundred schools from California and beyond participated in this year's Tulare County College Night, answering the questions and concerns of parents and students alike.
Representatives from about 90 colleges and universities crowded into the Visalia Convention Center. The event is touted as a one-stop shop for anything college related from admissions to financial aid, and just like students, parents also came seeking information.
Public, private, two-year, and four year colleges were all present.
For many, the search for answers started at an index of majors filled with more than 13 hundred pages of possibilities.
Sophia Medina of Hanford wants a university that will prepare her for med school. Prior to the event she was unaware of all of her options.
"Before tonight, no. I would have only had a couple of UCs in mind. Now that I see all the highlighted ones, I was blow away that there's many more I could choose from," Medina said.
This year marks the 31st anniversary for Tulare County's College Night. But organizers say in recent years, budget cuts at California universities have prompted some families to rethink their in-state options.
"A lot of times families are considering other out of state options and looking at how those may be less expensive in the long run because they're able to have their children complete schools in four years," Beth Olshewsky of the Tulare County Office of Education said.
Several families told Action News they came to the event with an open mind and left with new possibilities.
"I have UC San Diego, and San Diego, and probably Irvine too. I was just talking to a representative and they got me liking the school, so yeah," high school senior Daniela Padilla said.
In all an estimated 37 hundred students attended the annual event and organizers say it continues to grow every year as students and parents alike realize the importance of a college education.
Fresno County's college night is scheduled for Wednesday evening.
It will take place at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall on M Street in Downtown Fresno.
The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m., but you are welcome to attend a power hour orientation at 5:30.