College Round-Up aims to help 2,500 students

By Jim Holt

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An annual event that has made a difference in the lives of thousands of high school students intent on pursuing a college degree is returning in early March to Tarboro.

The 12th annual College Round-Up will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9 in the Mobley Atrium on Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus. On-site registration will begin at 8 a.m.

Sponsored by the Black Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, the event has grown since its inception to attract more than 2,500 students, parents, guardians and educators, event officials said.

In addition to being able to speak face-to-face with admissions representatives from dozens of institutions, high school seniors also will get the financial benefit of having their application fees waived.

This year, the organizers have scheduled a unique fundraiser the night before the event in honor of Bob Whitehead, the founder of the College Round-Up.

The event, which will feature a dinner, jazz music and theatre performances, is geared toward raising money to establish the Robert Whitehead Scholarship.

“We hope to be able to raise sufficient funds to offer a competitive scholarship to at least one College Round-Up student each year,” Smith said.

The dinner will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. March 8 in the Mobley Atrium on Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus.

Advance tickets will be available for a tax deductible donation of $50 per person.

For more information or to make a donation, call Fay Smith at 883-2667.

Online registration for the College Round-Up is available at

The College Round-Up has helped more than 2,000 students realize their dream of a postsecondary education, many of whom were accepted to multiple colleges on the spot and offered scholarships as well as financial assistance, officials said.

Those students interested in applying at this year’s event must bring both their SAT scores and plenty of high school transcript copies to hand out to college representatives.

“Many underprivileged and underserved students who were accepted to some of these institutions were once told they weren’t college material,” said Fay Smith, education director at the Black Heritage Museum & Cultural Center. “The College Round-Up is invaluable for students because a lot of them don’t have the opportunities to visit all of these colleges and universities. Also, a lot of parents don’t have the money to pay all of the fees necessary to apply.”

Career development professionals, mentors and counselors also will be present to assist students and families, Smith said.

All parents or guardians are encouraged to attend with their child to make sure everyone involved in the application process has a clear picture of the financial issues the students face.