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Online fairs give students another college search option


Wednesday, January 09, 2013
The Internet has transformed higher education on virtually every level. From the ability to submit your college application completely online to the availability of digital textbooks, technology has played an important role in defining education in the 21st century. According to Education Week, a publication focusing on critical issues facing American schools, college-bound students can meet face-to-face with admissions officers without leaving their house or classroom.

Revolutionizing the college fair
CollegeWeekLive is a new service that enables high school students and their parents to interact directly with college admissions officials through an instant messaging platform. In addition to being able to ask admissions advisers questions in real time, the service also allows users to take virtual tours of college campuses, sign up for events, locate scholarships and even chat with students at the schools they are considering.

The news source reports that approximately 500 colleges across the country have signed up for the virtual college fair, and more than 1.2 million students from all 50 states and 191 countries worldwide have registered.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a primary goal of CollegeWeekLive is to provide students with a virtual college fair environment. The site is especially useful to students who are unable to travel long distances to attend a college fair, or who may be more comfortable interacting with college admissions officials online.

"As high school students change in how they're getting their information, it's important for us to make those changes as well," Emily Engelschall, director of undergraduate admissions at University of California, Riverside, told the news source. "Students feel more comfortable in that environment."

An enthusiastic response
Some college admissions officials say it was easier and more beneficial to interact with students online than at a traditional college fair, where dozens of students can cluster around a single table, making meaningful interaction challenging. CollegeWeekLive enables students to gather information in a more efficient manner as they can leave a chat as soon as their questions are answered and move onto the next school.

Another benefit of the service is that users have the option of asking questions anonymously,  enabling students to ask questions without fear of appearing uninformed. This can result in more genuine interactions between students and admissions and financial aid officials.

While CollegeWeekLive is unlikely to replace the traditional college fair, it offers students another way to search for a college, get the information they need to make an informed decision and take control of their academic future.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800942421-ADNFCR

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Online fairs give students another college search option
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