Oct. 8, 2020 – This year, students and families will have the opportunity to travel to multiple universities and colleges without ever leaving their couch.
The annual National College Fair will be virtual this year due to COVID-19 precautions and will take place on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Both students and their families can register at www.virtualcollegefairs.org.
The National College Fair is the first part of Jax Goes to College Week which runs from Oct. 18 – 23.
With a different college-going theme each day, the week is designed to engage families, communities, school staff, and students in activities that promote college and career access and success said Bernadette Hardeman Strong, a district supervisor who helps coordinate the week every year.
Hardeman Strong wants families to know that even though the annual fair is virtual this year, it still represents a great opportunity for college-going students to find the right fit for them.
“These fairs offer juniors and seniors a chance to hear firsthand from those-in-the-know at hundreds of colleges and universities nearby, across the country, and around the world,” said Hardeman Strong. “The pandemic should not put a damper on students dreams to attend college. Find a college and apply.”
Below are a few tips from Hardeman Strong and her colleagues on getting the most out of this experience:
- How do you register for the fair? Go to virtualcollegefairs.org and click the “Sign Up” button. Students should then review the list of registered institutions; select which colleges they’re interested in and set a reminder to attend their live and interactive Zoom sessions.
On the day of the fair, students should log in and Click the “Live Sessions” tab. They’ll see literally hundreds of sessions to choose from! Tip: Colleges located on the East Coast will offer their sessions towards the beginning of the fair while colleges on the West Coast will offer sessions towards the end. Students will also have an option to schedule one-on-one meetings with admissions representatives.
- What are the benefits of attending the virtual College Fair? Virtual fairs are designed to replicate much of the experience of in-person college fairs. They provide a dynamic, new digital meeting space for students no matter where they live or what their situation. Students can talk one on one with college admission counselors; attend live interactive sessions with college representatives; and attend workshops covering topics such as how to apply, financial aid, student life, and more. More than 600 colleges will be represented.
- What are some things college-bound juniors and seniors should be doing now? College-bound juniors and seniors should focus on preparing themselves academically and financially. This includes:
- Enrolling in rigorous course work.
- Preparing and taking the SAT and/or ACT;
- Researching careers of interest and associated majors.
- Researching colleges and tracking application deadlines.
- Searching for scholarships.
- Remaining involved in extracurricular activities.
- Engaging in service to the community.
- Seeking out leadership opportunities.
- Building a portfolio that includes their resume and recommendation letters; and much more.
- Determining what questions, they need to ask college admission officers. Questions can be framed around academics; cost of attendance and financial aid; the application process; career preparation and job recruitment; support for English language learners; support for students with disabilities; social life and campus activities; retention and graduation rates; and preventative measures that are in place as it relates to COVID. Creating a list of vital questions to ask college representatives will help students maximize their experience at college fairs.