Wednesday, February 13, 2013

College Fairs

Now that we have passed the #PHSfit college fair, let's talk about two college exploration opportunities in the near future, the CCBC/BCPS College Fair, and CollegeWeekLive.

CCBC/BCPS College Fair
At this event cosponsored by the local community college and our school district, over a hundred college admissions representatives from colleges as far away as Hawai'i will be on-hand to provide information and answer questions. This is a two-night event, with CCBC-Essex being the site on March 4, and CCBC-Catonsville being the site on March 5. In both cases, the event lasts from 6 to 8pm, parking is free and plentiful, and the location will be clearly designated (the largest building on campus, the athletic/wellness center).
All families are invited to attend and BCPS school counselors will be on-hand to lend their expertise if you have any questions. To prepare, you are advised to print the list of suggested questions to ask at a college fair, from this blog's college planning page. Also, it will be helpful to print off several pages of labels with the following information:

  • Student's first and last names
  • Student's phone number and email address
  • Student's mailing address
  • Student's intended major (it's okay to be undecided!)

Alfred University
Antonelli Institute*
Arcadia University
Art Institute
Baltimore City Community College
Bethany College
Bridgewater College
Bryant University
Cabrini College
Campbell University**
Capitol College
Carlow University*
Case Western Reserve University
Catawba College
Cedar Crest College
Chestnut Hill College**
Christopher Newport University
Clarkson University
Coastal Carolina University
Concord University
Coppin State University
Corcoran College of Art and Design
Davis & Elkins College**
Delaware Valley College
Duquesne University*
Eastern University
Elon University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Emmanuel College*
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairmont State University
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Ferrum College**
Flagler College
Florida Institute of Technology**
Frostburg State University
Full Sail University
Garrett College
George Mason University**
Goldey-Beacom College
Goucher College
Hampton University
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Hawaii Pacific University
High Point University
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Hood College
Immaculata University*
Iona College
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson & Wales University**
Juniata College**
Kean University
King’s College
La Salle University
Lasell College*
Lebanon Valley College
Liberty University
Limestone College
Longwood University
Lycoming College
Manhattan College
Marymount Manhattan College*
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
McDaniel College
Methodist University
Millersville University
Mount Holyoke College**
Mount Olive College
Mount St. Mary’s University
Neumann University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New York Institute of Technology*
Norfolk State University
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Wesleyan College
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Old Dominion University
Pace University
Penn State University
Pfeiffer University
Radford University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Roanoke College
Rochester Institute of Technology
Roger Williams University*
Rowan University
Rutgers University**
Saint Francis University
Saint Peter’s University*
Savannah College of Art and Design
Seton Hall University
Seton Hill University**
Shenandoah University
Shippensburg University
St. Andrews University
St. John’s University
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
St. Paul’s College
St. Vincent College
Stevenson University
The College of New Jersey
The University of Scranton
Towson University
Trinity Washington University
Tuskegee University
United States Coast Guard Academy
United States Merchant Marine Academy
University of Baltimore
University of Bridgeport
University of Maryland Baltimore County
University of Maryland College Park**
University of Maryland College Park Air Force Academy
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
University of Mary Washington
University of Nevada, Las Vegas*
University of New England
University of New Haven
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of Northwestern Ohio
University of Pittsburgh*
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
University of the Sciences**
Ursinus College
Vassar College*
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Tech
Virginia Wesleyan College
Wagner College*
Washington & Jefferson College
Washington College
Wentworth Institute of Technology**
West Chester University
West Virginia State University
West Virginia University
West Virginia University Institute of Technology
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Wheeling Jesuit University
Widener University
William Peace University
Wilson College
York College of Pennsylvania

*          CCBC Catonsville Only
**       CCBC Essex Only

For a humorous and often sarcastic - though not unrealistic - take on what NOT to do at a college fair, browse the "Admissions Problems" blog, facebook, and twitter posts.

CollegeWeekLive is an always-on virtual college fair. At any time of day, you can watch promotional videos from hundreds of colleges, and on most days, dozens of them have admissions staff available to engage in a chat with you. Some are even enabled for video chat. This is a great way to personalize the admissions process for a college that is geographically difficult to visit. Granted, there is absolutely no substitute for actually visiting a campus, and you should never plan to attend a college that haven't seen in-person (who would want to buy a car they haven't test-driven?), but virtual chats and tours are certainly better than nothing.
The website also offers dozens of videos on-demand on college planning topics that cover the gamut of preparing for postsecondary study - from choosing a major to looking for scholarships and athletic eligibility. There is even a searchable database of scholarships, if you are so inclined. There are frequently sweepstakes and giveaways, and the site also hosts special events, such as the February 26 Destination: College, sponsored by the College Board. Accounts are free, secure, and linked to your email address. You may need to try several web browsers until you find one that operates the site smoothly, so please be patient.

Whatever venue you choose (Who needs to choose? Take advantage of every opportunity!), make sure that you ask every question you can't find the answer to at these college fairs. Admissions offices keep a record of student contact, which accumulates to indicate an element of the process they call "demonstrated interest." Again, the best way to "demonstrate interest" is to actually attend a scheduled campus tour or visit. If a student visits campus and then applies, that is a sure indicator that the applicant is serious about his or her prospects.

And, always, make appointments with your school counselor to plan and process these fairs and visits. The more you involve us in this endeavor, the better we can assist you in making educated and appropriate choices along the way.

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