Mar 24, 2012

Colleges Gear Up for Spring Fairs

Once 2012 decisions are signed, sealed, and delivered, 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:

  • 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 20, 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 2012 Diversity in Education College & Career Fair will take place on Wednesday, March 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Dominion High School in
    Sterling VA.

  • 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 24 and 25 at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center, in Gaithersburg. The Prince George’s County fair will immediately follow on April 26 at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

  • National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Health Professional Recruitment Fair
    Organized in partnership with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), this fair will include opportunities to meet with medical school representatives and admissions staff.
    In addition, students are invited to attend workshops on how to get ready forLink the challenges of medical school, the application process, and how to finance a medical education. High school students are welcome to attend both the workshops and the fair scheduled for Saturday, April 28, from 9:00 to noon.

  • Northern Virginia Regional College Fair
    Scheduled for Wednesday, April 18, 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.

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.

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