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About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally f...  (More)

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Spring College Fairs

Uploaded: Jan 10, 2018
(written by Lori McCormick)

Spring is a perfect time for students starting to think about college to attend college fairs.

Why should I attend a college fair?

With hundreds of colleges in attendance, students can meet with several college representatives in one day. You will be introduced to colleges you might not have ever heard of prior to. Having a conversation with someone from the admissions office, and most often the person who will be your regional admissions counselor is a perfect way to start building a relationship with the college you might end up applying to. Here is a LINK to National College Fairs offered in 2018.

If you are a student interested in Visual or Performing Arts, there are also college fairs for you! Bring your portfolio or a few pieces of your favorite work. College Representatives will be on-site to answer questions you have and possibly provide feedback on your portfolio. Here is a LINK to the Visual And Performing Arts College Fairs.

What can I expect when I arrive at a college fair?

College fairs can feel a bit overwhelming at first. There are rows and rows of tables with various college’s table skirts adorning their college logos with stacks of brochures placed on the table. You might want to bring a bag to carry all the brochures you pick up. In addition to the stacks of brochures, there are inquiry cards. You will be asked to fill these out. My suggestion is to bring pre-printed labels, so you can slap the label on that card and move along to the next college.

Information to include:
1. Your name
2. The high school you attend and your current grade level
3. Your address (mailing and email)
4. Your phone number (optional)
5. Your GPA (Unweighted and Weighted, if applicable)
6. A brief snapshot of who you are: sports, instruments, plays, clubs, activities, internships, work experience, first-generation, etc.
7. A brief snapshot of your academic interests

What do I wear?
I get this question a lot. First impressions are important. Wear something nice: polished and professional. It doesn’t have to be a tailored suit but avoid showing up in your pajama bottoms and a slouchy tee-shirt. A pair of jeans with no tears and a shirt that doesn’t look like you picked it up off your bedroom floor is optimal. I would also avoid wearing a sweatshirt from a specific college. You’re there to “shop” around. Let’s not commit just yet…


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Short story writers wanted!

The 32nd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 6. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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