Sep 3, 2011

FCPS College Fair & College Night Go High-Tech

Anyone who has attended a FCPS College Fair or College Night knows these tend to be hectic events. With nearly 360 colleges and thousands of high school students and their families in attendance, things get a little chaotic.

But there’s relief in sight. For the first time, students are invited to “pre-register” online using a program that links them with colleges through the magic of a barcode scanned during visits with admissions
representatives attending the fair.

And voila! No more tedious registration cards and time wasted that could be used chatting up the person who might actually be reading your application in a few months.

“The online registration process creates a barcode that students bring with them to the fair,” said Marian M. Kendrick, FCPS College Fair/College Night liaison. “It streamlines the process for students and colleges and improves the flow of the whole fair.”

Students who have attended National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) fairs will recognize the scanners. The technology being introduced at this year’s FCPS College Fair & Night is provided by and is the same as that used by NACAC since 2007.

Logging on to the 2011 FCPS College Fair & Night registration site, students provide basic contact information, an indication of academic interests, and graduation year and high school. In return, they receive an “Admittance Pass” (personalized barcode) that is printed out and brought to the fair. College reps scan the barcode as a way to retrieve information thereby eliminating the need for visitors to complete individual registration cards at every table.

After the fair, students return home with usual glossy brochures and a stack of business cards. Colleges return with important information on interested students.

“Two to three days after the fair, colleges will have all their leads emailed to them in an Excel spreadsheet, so they can start the follow-up process right away,” Mrs. Kendrick explained.

The FCPS 2011 College Fair will be held at Fair Oaks Shopping Mall on Sunday, October 16, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, and College Night will take place at Hayfield Secondary School on Monday, October 17, from 7:00 to 9:00.

Students planning to attend either event are encouraged, but not required to pre-register. Those who have not pre-registered, however, will not be given barcodes. They’re on their own with low-tech methods of providing information to colleges.

For more information or to see the growing list of colleges participating in the 2011 College Fair & Night, visit the FCPS School Counseling Services webpage.

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