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Students in grades 9 and 10 can benefit from attending college fairs

Thursday, August 16, 2012
When high school students are preparing for college, one of the best things they can do is attend a college fair. These events give them the opportunity to speak with college admissions officials and, overall, research their postsecondary education options.

While some students may think that attending  a college fair is a junior or senior year activity, the truth is that it is never too early to start thinking about higher education - even as early as  freshman and sophomore years of high school. To help all high school student get the most out of a college fair, Melody Pierce, the interim senior associate director of recruitment for Albany State University, in Albany, Georgia, recently offered some advice on what students should ask admissions officials and how they should follow up after a college fair.

Freshman year

The questions: Your freshman year is a very critical year. The focus of a freshman is on being acclimated to the transition from the eighth grade to the ninth grade. However, they can still benefit from a college fair.

By that time, the students and their parent or guardian should be looking at possible careers, possible schools and if those schools have the particular major. That student should ask the admissions counselor, "What majors do you offer?" The second question should be, "Does your college offer any career inspiration just in case I'm in my senior year and I don't know what I want to be? Do you have any services that can assist me with that?" Another question should be, "What are your criteria?" That way the student has something to work toward throughout the duration of their high school career.

The follow-up: I would inquire about literature. It is never too early to get literature, and hopefully the colleges that they are speaking with have literature that speaks to students that are not seniors and introduces them to the campus and campus life.

Sophomore year

The questions: Tenth grade will be a little bit more structured because now students have adjusted to high school. They have their bearings and a better idea of what it is they are looking for. Their focus should be on admission criteria. They should inquire about campus life and start inquiring about majors, [and] even tuition.

The follow-up: [Sophomores] should do the same as freshmen. They should ask for literature. If the college did not offer literature, ask them to send different types of materials so they can start reading up on it. Students can also create a [list] to break down what it is they are looking for in a college so they can be a little bit more focused.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800843075-ADNFCR - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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