For 6th-to10th Graders in Harford and Cecil Counties: A Jump on a Successful College Path

Way2GoMaryland to Hold Open House at Harford Community College, Saturday, Nov. 13

Adelphi, Md. (Oct. 15 2010) -- Way2GoMaryland, the University System of Maryland's campaign to encourage students and their families to begin preparing for college early, will join partner Harford Community College as co-host for an informational open house November 13. The free event will offer access to USM admissions experts for 6th-through-10th-graders who live and attend school in Harford and Cecil Counties.

The Saturday event, which also welcomes home-schooled students in the two counties, will be held in the student center at Harford Community College, 401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air, Md.

Check-in begins at 9 a.m. The formal program will start at 10 a.m. A college fair, including two special sessions (paying for college and considering academic majors and careers), will run from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Students and their families will hear USM students discuss their own paths to college. They also will be able to gain critical information from USM financial aid experts.

The college fair will include door prizes. Complimentary refreshments will be available until 12:30 p.m.

In addition, 6th-through-8th-graders in Harford and Cecil counties can enter an essay contest (200-250 words) featuring an iPod shuffle as the top prize.  The essay must be about the importance of starting to prepare for college before becoming a high school student. For full contest details, see

ATK, a premier aerospace and defense company with 17,000 employees in 21 states, is the campaign's lead sponsor. ATK has contributed $210,000 in financial and in-kind support for the initiative.

Driving directions are available at

To pre-register for the Way2GoMaryland event, students and families can visit  until Nov. 9. Information can be requested via e-mail at

Way2GoMaryland is part of USM Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan's Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative launched in November 2007. National statistics show that first-generation, underrepresented, and low-income students are finding it harder to afford and complete a college degree, limiting their chances for success in the expanding global knowledge economy.

Nationally, while college-going rates rise, college attendance and completion gaps between different groups of students are expanding. According to 2008 data from the National Center for Education Statistics, African American students earn bachelor's degrees at half (18%)-and Latinos at one-third (11%)-the rate of white students (34%). Low-income students earn bachelor's degrees at one-eighth the rate of their more economically advantaged counterparts (9% vs. 75% by age 24).

By the year 2015, USM has pledged to cut by at least half the gaps in college-going and college- completion rates that separate low-income and underrepresented students from other young Americans. Way2GoMaryland will be part of this effort by encouraging more students, especially those in middle school, to begin preparing for college earlier. An early start on the path to college can help students:

  • pursue the right mix of secondary school coursework and be successful;
  • prepare for the college search and application process;
  • gain access to adequate financial aid;
  • Complete undergraduate degrees successfully and prepare to enter the workforce and/or pursue graduate and professional studies.




Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719