About College Fairs
(This first part is a re-post from last fall)
College fairs are a great way to get the lay of the land with respect to all of the possibilities post-secondary education affords. Here are some dates to get into your day planner (show of hands if you still use those). List is at the bottom of the post, and dates are on the Find Tomorrow Today calendar.
I recommend that you start going to college fairs early, as soon as sophomore year, so you can learn more about the colleges that aren’t such big names but still have much to offer. Top-tier colleges like Dartmouth, Smith or Stanford are probably not going to be there. They don’t need more applicants; everyone knows the Ivy League. It might take a little bit of effort to get to know University of South Dakota or Colorado School of Mines, but it could be well worth the time if they have the programs, the atmosphere and the financial aid you are looking for in a college.
Most fairs also have an opportunity for you to bring you transcripts in for review and even talk to a financial aid adviser. Be sure to look at the website for each fair so you can come with documents in hand.
We liked the college fairs best to get a gauge on how much recruiters know about their school (are they alumni or have they worked there for a while?) and how they act towards prospective students (the guy from Kalamazoo shot himself in the foot by ignoring my daughter completely while talking to the boy next to her about how much he would love the engineering program).
Arrive early! It will get very very crowded as the day goes by and the lines around the most popular schools will be many students deep.
Let the student do the talking. Parents should be seen but not heard.
Prepare a list of questions in advance, for example:
- (of the recruiter) Did you attend the school?
- What is your favorite thing about the campus?
- Do you have (insert) major?
- What if I don’t know what I want to major in?
- How soon can I enter the (insert) program?
- What opportunities are there for freshmen to participate in (insert) ?
2013 Fall Fairs
National Association for College Admission Counseling Fair Date and Hours
- Friday, November 1, 2013
- 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Saturday, November 2, 2013
- 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
- Oregon Convention Center
- Hall D
- 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
- Portland, OR 97232
Estimated Attendance: 14,000
Portland Performing and Visual Arts College Fair Date and Hours
- Monday, October 28, 2013
- 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Portland Art Museum
- 1219 SW Park Avenue
- Portland, OR 97205
- October 14, 2013
- 6:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m.
- Westside Christian High School @ Lake Bible Church
- 4565 Carman Drive
- Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035