CSRA College Night Returns to the James Brown Arena: Exceeds 100,000 in Attendance Since 1993

Staff Report

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

After a two-year hiatus, the James Brown Arena was again filled with local high school students eager to learn about higher education opportunities and to potentially win one of ten $1,000 scholarships.

Nearly 4,000 students and parents attended the event. To date, over $200,000 in scholarship funding has been awarded while more than 100,000 residents have attended the recruiting fair since its start 29 years ago. “The real success of College Night lies with the number of colleges and universities that participate annually. The high attendance of students and parents in our area is considered a major draw for academic organizations,” said Kim Mitchell, CSRA College Night Chairperson and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) employee. “I really enjoyed my visit,” said Jay Saxon, a junior who attends Aiken Scholars Academy at the University of South Carolina Aiken.

“It seemed like seniors were getting scholarships left and right while I was visiting my favorite schools to demonstrate my interest in them,” said Saxon. “And best of all, I got to discover universities I had not considered. I can now say I’m 100 percent confident of which colleges I want to attend. The event was extremely helpful.” This year’s event featured recruiters from more than 85 colleges and universities, plus seminars, Counseling/Career Exploration centers and SRS Career Lane. New this year, SRS Career Lane provided opportunities for students to meet with representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River and multiple companies from the Savannah River Site. 

Mitchell acknowledged the commitment made by members of the CSRA College Night Committee and the numerous volunteers. “They understand the impact this event has for a significant percentage of our attending students. College Night can help provide guidance and direction while reducing the number of planned college visits for students, potentially saving them thousands in travel costs,” she said. “I have been going to CSRA College Night for years,” said Jaden Jenkins, a senior at A.R. Johnson Magnet School, Augusta, Georgia.

“It was good to talk to the colleges that are on my top five list and ask about the athletic department and the admissions process. I learned that now is the time to apply so I am going to take what I learned and start making some decisions. Thanks to SRS for providing this event for all the students in our region!” CSRA College Night is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations Office, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, SRP Federal Credit Union, South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers-Aiken Chapter, Centerra SRS and iHeart Media.