There are so many colleges and so little time to explore them all. If you are a high school student or a parent, this thought has undoubtedly crossed your mind. I have a solution. Attending a National College Fair sponsored by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) is a great way to sample literally hundreds of colleges in one location, attend college workshops and talk to admissions representatives. In fact I highly recommend that even middle school students visit a college fair as an introduction to the world of post secondary education. In April there are three fairs that are easily accessible in New York City, Boston and Providence. They are free and open to the public. I will share the details at the end of this article. But first some tips on how to prepare for and negotiate these massive events efficiently and with ease.
All successful trips involve careful advance planning. To begin, visit the NACAC website:www.nacacnet.org/eventstraining/collegefairs. The website has lists of the 70 college fairs across the country with opportunities to register in advance for many of the venues. Students who register in advance receive a barcoded printout with their information that they can share with college representatives at the site. This bypasses having to fill out multiple cards requesting additional information, saving a ton of time at the fair freeing you up to take advantage of all that is offered. The NACAC website also has videos to watch and checklists to print out to help you stay organized while at the fair.
The date for the NACAC National College Fairs in this area are April 3 and 4th at The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford and April 28 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. April 22 NACAC holds a fair in NYC at the Jacob K. Javits Center and on May 3 and 4 there is a fair at the Boston Convention Center.