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SEATTLE/SOUTH KING COUNTY, Wash. -- College will be the topic of discussion at 275 schools across Seattle and South King County. Thousands of students will participate for the first-time in Discover U Day, a region-wide effort to get kids excited about higher education.

The unique, day-long experience focuses on a number of different topics, including topics like career paths, college applications, scholarships, and even basic vocabulary like tuition, a major and dorms.

I think the biggest challenge is making them understand that it's relevant for them. They're in middle school and they can't see past 8th grade. We're trying to get them ready for high school and college ready at the same time, said Darryl James, a 7th grade student counselor at Aki Kurose Middle School.

As part of Discover U Day, educators are wearing college gear and talking to kids about their experience. Students of all ages will learn about the overall benefits of higher education and map out their path to college, which is not easy.

In Seattle and South King County only 59 percent of graduating seniors actually enrolled in college. But educators point to research that shows if students think and plan for their futures -- they do better in school.

I think it makes a big difference having an adult in your life not just in your home but in your schools sharing the same hopes for you and with you is really instrumental, said Bryan Manzo, an 8th grade student counselor at Aki Kurose Middle School.

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