Once 2016 decisions are signed, sealed, and delivered, admissions staff around the country will hardly have a moment to catch a breath before they’re expected to hit the road again for college fairs scheduled from Maine to China and back.
Here are a few local events to which the public is invited (note that a number of these traveling road shows visit multiple regions—follow the link(s) to see if the schools will be coming to a location near you):
- Claremont Colleges Receptions
The Claremont Colleges invite students and their families to attend an information session hosted by admission representatives from Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, and Scripps Colleges. Admission officers will discuss the benefits of attending each individual college, as well as the advantages of participating in one of the strongest and most cohesive college consortia in the nation. The program will include a media presentation, individual college information presentations, a general question-and-answer session, and time at the end of the program for you to speak individually with each college. The Washington DC metro area event will be held on Saturday, April 2, at 1:00 pm, at the Pooks Hill Marriott, in Bethesda, Maryland. Register online here.
- Coast to Coast College Tour
The Coast to Coast College Tour is a joint travel partnership bringing together admissions representatives from Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Princeton University, the University of California-Berkeley, and Vanderbilt University. We travel together because each of our institutions practices a holistic admissions process in a highly selective environment. This program will provide you with the opportunity to learn about each individual institution, receive insight on navigating the selective admissions process, and the ability to connect with representatives from each institution. This year’s program will take place on Thursday, June 9, 2016, at 7:00 pm, a the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. Register online here.
- Colleges That Change Lives
Since 1998, the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL)—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, 42 CTCL members will visit the Washington DC area on Thursday, May 19, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. The program begins at 7:00 pm with a 30-minute information session followed immediately by the college fair.
- College Prep Fair
A free College Preparation and Scholarship Fair will be held 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at Montgomery College (Bioscience Education Center), 20200 Observation Drive in Germantown. The fair is intended for students in Grades 6-10 and their parents. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet representatives from various careers, colleges, and universities, learn about financial aid and scholarship opportunities and attend informative breakout sessions. Space is limited, so be sure to register early! Registration can be completed at www.mcpsparentacademy.org.
- Emory University and Georgia Tech
Admissions officers from both schools are hosting information sessions for prospective students. In Maryland, the session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. All are invited to attend.
- Exploring College Options
Exploring College Options is a special recruitment program (not exactly a college fair) sponsored by the undergraduate admissions offices of Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford. Events are usually scheduled in Alexandria, Bethesda, and Baltimore. As of this writing, a final schedule has not yet been posted, but details should be available soon on the Exploring College Options website.
- Exploring Educational Excellence
Join Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell and Rice for an information session for prospective students and their families. Sessions include a brief overview of each institution, information on admissions and financial aid, and a chance to speak informally with admissions representatives. Events will be held in Maryland on May 15 (Baltimore) and 16 (Richard Montgomery High School), and in Virginia on May 17 (Alexandria) and 18 (Richmond). You must register to attend.
- IB-MA College Fair
The IB Mid-Atlantic Association of IB World Schools is hosting a free college fair on Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 12:30 to 3:00, at Gar-Field High School, in Woodbridge, VA. This is a large event attracting many colleges interested in recruiting IB students and others.
- NACAC National College Fairs (NCF)
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 NCF will take place on April 19 (evening hours included) and 20, at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center, in Gaithersburg. The Prince George’s County NCF will follow on April 22 at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.
- National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Health Professional Recruitment Fair
Organized in partnership with the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and 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 for the challenges of medical school, the application process, and how to finance a medical education. The workshops and the fair are scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2016, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Hotel, in Washington D.C.
- Northern Virginia Regional College Fair
Scheduled for Wednesday, March 30, 2016, this fair usually attracts over 200 colleges and universities, in the EagleBank Arena on the campus of George Mason University. No registration is required and doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with free parking in Lots A or L across from the EagleBank Arena (formerly the Patriot Center).
- Sherwood High School College Fair
This fair is scheduled for April 18, 2016, 6:00-8:00 pm at Sherwood High School, Route 108, Olney, MD; approximately 60-70 colleges exhibit at this free neighborhood college fair. All are welcome. For more details: Joseph_R_Hock_Jr@mcpsmd.org
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 programs.