Mar 19, 2011

Colleges Hit the Road for 2011 Spring Fairs

If daffodils are blooming, can the spring college fair season be far behind? No, in fact it’s well underway!

Once 2011 decisions are mailed, admissions staff will hardly have a moment to breathe before they’re expected to hit the road again for college fairs scheduled all over the country. Here are a few of the more popular local events:

  • Northern Virginia Regional College Fair
    Scheduled for Wednesday, April 6, this fair plans to have 200 colleges and universities exhibit from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the Patriot Center Arena on the campus of George Mason University. No registration is required and free parking is available in Lot K, across from the Patriot Center.

  • NACAC National College Fairs
    Free and open to the public, NACAC’s fairs annually attract more than 850,000 high school students to forums designed to encourage student and family interaction with representatives from a wide range of postsecondary institutions. This year, NACAC has scheduled two local fairs spanning several days. The Montgomery County fair will take place on April 13 and 14 at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center, in Gaithersburg. The Prince George’s County fair will immediately follow on April 15 and 16 at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

  • Colleges That Change Lives
    Since 1998, the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL)—forty colleges and universities dedicated to the support of student-centered college search processes—have been traveling together to meet directly with students and families. This year, CTCL will visit the Washington DC area on Sunday, May 22, at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center. Plan to attend one of two programs scheduled (11:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m.). Each program begins with a 30-minute information session followed immediately by the college fair.

  • Diversity in Education College & Career Fair
    Organized by Loudon County Public Schools, this event provides opportunities to meet with college and other postsecondary school representatives as well as to interact with organizations and employers representing a variety of career options. The 2011 College & Career Fair will take place on Wednesday, March 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Dominion High School in Sterling VA.

Remember that some fairs offer pre-registration options, but most are walk-in events. You can prepare for the fair by reviewing a list of participating colleges and noting those in which you are interested. It’s a good idea to print out some “mailing” labels with your name, mailing address, phone number, month and year of high school graduation, and email address. These can be quickly applied to information request cards. And bring a backpack or something similar for carrying all the materials you will collect.

Here’s a tip: In addition to admissions information, exhibitors often come equipped with materials introducing summer enrichment opportunities. Be sure to ask about the availability of summer classes, camps, or other similar program.

For the news behind the news, check out the new College Explorations Facebook page.

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