Juniors attend college fair to explore options after high school

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Photo by Vivian Pisani

Colleges like Rider University and the University of South Carolina handed out brochures at the College Fair.

The Montgomery County National College Fair was held on Apr. 6, from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. for juniors in high school. Kathleen Carr, the College and Career Information Coordinator, introduced the fair to the junior class. The goal was to give students a chance to explore possible college and university options for after high school.

I think the fair really helped me narrow down school options.”

— Carli Katz

At the college fair, over 250 colleges and universities were present from 37 states, Washington D.C. and other countries. These states include Maryland, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York, South Carolina, California, Florida, Delaware and more. The fair also included  international universities from France, Italy, China, Canada, England, Ireland, Spain, Scotland and the Virgin Islands. “I think the fair really helped me narrow down school options,” junior Carli Katz said.

ll types of colleges were there, from community colleges like Montgomery College, to large public institutions such as the University of Maryland, Indiana University Bloomington, Penn State University, The University of Alabama and Florida State University, and smaller private schools like American University, Curry College, Dickinson College and Elon University. “I learned a lot about colleges that I had never heard of or seen before that were very interesting,” junior Zach Haledjian said.

Each college at the fair was set up in a booth in the main building on the SoccerPlex property. Every college had a representative for students to ask questions and get information about what opportunities the university had to offer, where it was, what majors were offered, or anything they had concerns about. “It was helpful to have many colleges with representatives to talk to and learn more about what they have to offer,” Haledjian said.

When they registered, every student was sent a barcode for the representative to scan. Doing this added the student’s name and email address to an email and update list. After that, students could grab a brochure or pamphlet that was offered at their respective booths to keep. For a little over an hour, students were free to explore any booth they wanted and had a bag to keep the papers they received in. “I really liked Clemson and I thought the people there were really nice,” junior Brooke Pitt said.

In addition to universities, there were also military programs, nursing schools and business schools present. Other high schools were also present at the fair including Bethesda Chevy Chase and Wheaton.

Since the fair was in the middle of the day, students were absent from half of advisory, lunch, sixth period and part of seventh period. “I think the process was pretty easy and attending was very organized,” Katz said.

This event was sponsored by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and was held at the Maryland SoccerPlex and students needed to register online as well as turn in a permission slip and payment to attend.