2018 College Fairs

Spring is in the air, and so are college fairs! 

springstudent.jpgA college fair is an educational opportunity for students and parents and a marketing opportunity for colleges. In the fall and spring, many colleges send their admissions staff on the road to promote the school to high school students. The fall fair is larger, often with close to 300 schools in attendance. The spring fair is less overwhelming, but there will still be approximately 125 colleges in attendance eager to tell you why their school might be a good fit for you.

The University of Portland will be the host site for the Spring College Fair hosted by PNACAC (Pacific NW Association of College Admission Counseling).  I encourage 10th and 11th-grade students and their parents to attend the fair.

As the event is automated, students are asked to register before attending the event, to eliminate filling out prospect cards at each college table every time.  Access the registration form here: http://www.gotocollegefairs.com/. Completing the form creates a barcode which you should print and bring with you to the fair. Colleges will simply scan the barcodes to obtain your information (and track “demonstrated interest“). The barcode streamlines the fair for students (vs. filling out cards at every college table) giving you more time to learn about the colleges that interest you.

Steps to Register:

  • Students access http://www.gotocollegefairs.com/
  • Click on the “Student Register Now” button
  • Select the state, choose the fair you will attend
  • Complete the registration form once
  • Submit the form.  The barcode is displayed
  • Print and bring with you to the fair!

Juniors, I highly recommend that you plan to attend in preparation for writing applications and essays this summer. Now is the time you want to focus on your college list. If you haven’t started exploring colleges, use the fair to start your research. If you already have some schools in mind, check the list below to see who attended last spring, and keep checking here for a list of this year’s attendees. If your schools are in attendance, it is important to make an effort to show up at the fair and meet the rep. Demonstrated interest is one of many factors taken into consideration during an application review.

collegefairSophomores, the college fair is a great place to explore. Go with an open mind and see what interests you. Talk with a lot of reps so that you start to understand the pros and cons of larger or smaller schools, the sorts of programs and services offered and get a sense of both the academic and non-academic factors that go into deciding to apply to schools.

However, the fair can be overwhelming if you just wander. It is a good idea to decide on some schools in advance that you want to check out and to head to those tables first. If possible, do some basic internet research ahead of time, so that you are not asking questions that have readily available answers on the school website.

If a parent is unavailable, go with a friend. Have the friend take notes for you while you are talking about your interests and asking questions. You do the same for her/him. Once you have spoken with a few colleges, it’s easy to get confused about which college had which program. These notes will help you when it comes to filling out college applications, so keep them in a place where you can find them and be sure to record the date you spoke with the rep and get his/her name.

Walk up to the college’s table/booth. Shake hands firmly with the admissions representative. Offer your name, graduation year and your school, and make sure you have them scan your barcode.

Potential questions to get you started:

  • What can you tell me about your _______________ department/program?
  • What are some distinctive, special or unique programs to your college?
  • What type of students does well at your school? What kind of students finds it a poor fit?
  • What programs do you offer to help first-year students adjust to college? What programs do you have that serve first-generation students or students of color?
  • What kind of tutoring or academic help is available?
  • Do you have any special housing options?
  • What do students do for fun on campus? (Ask about specific clubs or activities in which you are interested).
  • Do you offer buses or transportation to a city or other off-campus programs?
  • Do you offer Greek (fraternities & sororities) life? What percentage of students participates?
  • What traditions does your school have?
  • Does your school meet full demonstrated need? If not, what percent of need do you typically meet? What percentage of students receive merit aid? Is there an early scholarship deadline? What is the average debt of graduating students?
  • What companies recruit on campus for __________ majors? Where do students get hired?

Share your interests, as it will allow the representative to highlight programs in which you may have interest.

Grab his/her business card and send a thank you email when you get home. Let the rep know what you appreciated learning about the school. Make sure to check your grammar and spelling.

The list of colleges attending the Spring Fair has not yet been published, so check back here at the end of the month to see who is attending: http://www.pnacac.org/college-fairs.

Sophomores, if you are unable to attend this fair, plan to attend the fair in the fall.

Mark your fall calendars:

NACAC College Fair: Portland, Oregon Convention Center
Sunday, October 28, 2018
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Monday, October 29, 2018
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Fall Visual & Performing Arts College Fair:

Portland Art Museum – Mark Building
October 1, 2018, 6:30-8:30pm

1119 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

Here is a list of LAST YEAR’s Spring Fair Attendees:

American University
Arizona State University
Babson College
Bennington College
Boise State University
Boston University
Butler University
Butte College
Cal Poly State University
Cal State East Bay
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
California State University, Sonoma State
Carleton College
Carroll College
Central Oregon Community College
Central Washington University
Clark College
Colorado College
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado State University
Concordia University – Portland
Corban University
Cornish College of the Arts
Creighton University
Davidson College
DePauw University
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Washington University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, AZ)
Franklin University Switzerland
Gonzaga University
Goucher College
Hillsdale College
Hofstra University
Holy Names University
Humboldt State University
Idaho State University
Kenyon College
Klamath Community College
Lake Forest College
Lane Community College
Lewis & Clark College
Linfield College
Macalester College
Marquette University
Miami University
Montana State University
Montana State University Billings
Montana State University – Northern
Multnomah University
New Mexico Tech
Northern Arizona University
Northland College
Northwest Christian University
Northwest University
Oregon Coast Culinary Institute
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon State University
Oregon State University – Cascades
Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific University Oregon
Penn State University
Pomona College
Portland State University
Providence College
Reed College
RIT (Rochester Inst of Technology)
Rocky Mountain College
Royal Roads University
Saint Martin’s University
Saint Mary’s College of California
San Diego State University
Santa Clara University
Sarah Lawrence College
Scripps College
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle University
Simon Fraser University
Soka University
Southern Oregon University
St. John’s College
St. John’s University
St. Olaf College
SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
Texas Christian University
The Catholic University of America
The Evergreen State College
The George Washington University
The University of Alabama
The University of Utah
Thompson Rivers University
Trinity College
Trinity Western University
University of Arizona
University of British Columbia
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
University of Great Falls
University of Idaho
University of La Verne
University of Montana
University of Montana Western
University of Nevada Las Vegas
University of New Mexico
University of Northern Colorado
University of Oregon
University of Portland
University of Puget Sound
University of Redlands
University of San Francisco
University of the Pacific
University of Victoria
University of Washington Bothell
University of Washington Tacoma
University of Washington, Seattle
US Air Force ROTC
Vancouver Island University
Vanguard University
Warner Pacific College
Washington State University
Western Oregon University
Western Washington University
Whitman College
Whitworth University
Willamette University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute



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