Oct 2, 2010

College Fairs Offer a Little Something for Everyone

Fall is in the air, and college reps are on the road again. It’s college fair season, and you are cordially invited to attend one or several fairs depending on where your favorite colleges and universities happen to visit this year.

If you’re well into the application process or just beginning to explore a few options, a college fair can be a great way to gather information and meet admissions staff some of whom could eventually read your application.

So mark your calendar and choose from among the following more popular local options:

NACAC’s National College Fairs
Free and open to the public, NACAC’s National College Fairs are organized to promote interaction with admissions staff representing a wide range of postsecondary institutions. During the day, workshops are scheduled covering a variety of topics including financial aid, essay writing, NCAA eligibility, and students with disabilities. In addition, college counselors are available to answer questions and help with college search. Online registration is available for many National College Fairs, including greater Washington, DC, scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and Baltimore, scheduled for October 18-19, at the Baltimore Convention Center.

NACAC’s Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) College Fairs
PVA College Fairs are specifically targeted to students interested in studying theater, visual arts, graphic design, music, dance or other related disciplines. In addition to providing information on educational opportunities, admission requirements, and financial aid, staff is available to provide advice on portfolio development and auditions. PVA College Fairs require no pre-registration although the opportunity to register is offered online for many fairs including the one scheduled for Sunday, October 31, at the Washington Convention Center.

Portfolio Days
National Portfolio Days are specifically for visual artists and designers. These events are not so much college fairs as opportunities to meet with representatives from colleges accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Portfolio Days require no registration and operate on a first come, first served basis. Local events are scheduled for Saturday, November 6, at Virginia Commonwealth University; Saturday, December 4, at the Corcoran College of Art and Design; or Sunday, December 5, at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

FCPS College Fair and Night
Students and their families are invited to help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Fairfax County Public Schools Annual College Fair and College Night Programs. Both events provide opportunities for college-bound students and their families to gather information from several hundred participating colleges and universities. This year’s college fair will be held on Sunday, October 17 at Fair Oaks Mall. College Night will take place the following evening at Hayfield Secondary. In addition to exhibits, College Night features a series of workshops. For more information or to download a College Fair Ticket, visit the FCPS website.

Montgomery County Regional College Fair
Montgomery County Community College will host the annual Montgomery County Regional College Fair on Wednesday, October 13th. More than 150 colleges and universities will be available to speak with students and their parents about admissions criteria and procedures. Financial aid officers from local colleges and guidance counselors from MCPS will also be on hand to answer questions. In addition, two special workshops will be offered on the college admissions and financial aid processes.

National Hispanic College Fair
Partnered with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, these fairs are organized to help minority students gain access to a broad range of colleges/universities and vocational training institutions. These events are typically scheduled during the school day and require release from school. This year, the Montgomery County Public Schools are hosting a National Hispanic College Fair on Tuesday, November 2nd, at the Shady Grove Conference Center.

JET College Nights
Twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities located in 19 states work together to schedule "regional" Jesuit Excellence Tour (JET) College Nights. In the coming months, the tour will be in every corner of the country including Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Boston, Chicago, and New York—to name a few host cities. Locally, two events are being scheduled for the week of March 7-11—one in Baltimore and the other in DC.

Korea Daily College Fair
Since 2006, the Korea Daily College Fair has brought together Koreans and other Asians interested in learning more about colleges and the admissions process. Each fair features keynote speakers or seminars covering a variety of topics including curriculum, admissions requirements, financial aid, campus life, and more. Fairs are held in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington DC. This year, the DC fair will take place on Saturday, October 2, at the Church for All Nations in Vienna, VA.

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