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College Fairs Popping Up This Spring

Sunday, February 16, 2020

With spring weather on the horizon, college admission representatives from hundreds of institutions are making their way to college fairs throughout the country to meet prospective students and share their school's story.  Chances are that a college fair will be one of your stops along the college-shopping journey.

This spring, the "granddaddy" of area college fairs, NACAC Boston National Fair 2020, will be coming to town from Thursday, April 30 - Friday, May 1.

This widely-anticipated event expects to host more than 350 two-year and four-year colleges, nursing schools, business schools and trade schools at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority located at 415 Summer Street, Boston.

Other Local College Fairs On Tap

By attending a college fair, students can learn about a wide variety of schools' offerings and connect with admissions reps. This is a bonus opportunity in particular for students and parents who may not be able to make in-person campus visits or who wish to gather more information before investing time and money in travel arrangements.

And before late April blooms, there are several college fairs scheduled for earlier in the spring.  Have a look at what is coming up in your local area this spring ...

** SERF College Fair - Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School
Saturday, March 21, 2020

12.15 - 3 PM

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** MetroWest College and Career Fair - Ashland High School
Saturday, March 21, 2020

9 AM - 12.30 PM
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** TEC Spring 2020 College FaIr - Westwood High School
Thursday, March 26, 2020

6.30  - 8.30 PM

http://tec-coop.org/student-programs/college-fairs/spring-college-fair-westwood-high-school
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** Providence NACAC National College Fair
Providence, RI
https://www.nacacfairs.org/attend/national-college-fairs/providence/

Tuesday, April 07, 2020
5:30 - 8:30 PM
401/458-6000
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** Arlington High School College Fair
Monday, April 27, 2020

6:30 – 8:00 PM
Arlington High School, 869 Massachusetts Ave

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Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com

Top 12 Tips for Campus Visit Success

Thursday, February 13, 2020
What? Already? The campus tour season is here. As you check out colleges during break and beyond, be intentional and make the most of time invested on the road.  Solid planning makes for worthwhile (and memorable) on-the-ground college research.

Looking to get the most out of exploring colleges? Check out these top suggestions for campus visit success:


  1. Register ahead via the campus website for information sessions and tours. Some colleges receive many hundreds of visitors in a week, and spaces may fill up.  If you need to cancel a reservation, contact the school so a spot can open for another visitor.
  2. Sign in when you arrive to campus so there is a record of you having taken the time to visit. This will also ensure you a spot on the school mailing list.
  3. Allow yourselves plenty of time to arrive and, most of all, to park and find the Admission Office. Do not assume that parking and the Admission Office are close to one another. And don’t assume that a tour or information session will take place at the Admission building.
  4. Even though it may sound obvious, wear comfortable footwear and bring a snack or drink with you as touring can tax one’s energy. Keep up the blood sugar.
  5. Bring extra pairs of dry socks (seriously). Even if shoes get wet in the rain, you will be much more comfortable if you at least can pull on dry socks for the next tour.
  6. Capture several photos of campus and nearby town, maybe even with you in them. Photographic images evoke deeper memories. 
  7. If you do not have time for both tour and information session, prioritize the tour.
  8. Don’t be shy about stopping a couple of friendly-looking students and saying something like: “Hi, I’m visiting today and wanted to get some thoughts about what students here think of X College. So what year are you in and what are you studying here? What are a few favorite things for you about your school?”
  9. Check out food places; fitness center; Career Center; Student Success Services or "Disability” Office; library; etc. if these are not included on your tour.
  10. Peek at posted signs; notices — anything that tells you what is being promoted or talked about at that school.
  11. If financial assistance is part of your college process, ask if admission is “need blind” or “need aware.” This will tell you how much the school considers demonstrated financial need when evaluating applications. You could also ask what % of demonstrated need the college will meet. If the school meets 75% of your demonstrated need, that means that the rest will be up to you to obtain.
  12. If the school says they offer merit awards, ask which financial applications, special essays, if any, need to be completed to be eligible for merit aid.
  13. What is the 13th tip you would like to see here?  Submit your favorite tip to marla@achievecoach.com, and you may see your suggestion added here next month.
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Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com


Starting College in the Spring

Monday, February 03, 2020

A growing number of students are receiving admission to sought-after colleges -- just not in the fall.

For years some northeastern elite colleges, including Middlebury and Hamilton, have engaged in an admissions practice offering a selection of students second semester admission. Midd "Febs"and Hamilton "Jans" share a mid-year enrollment calendar with a number of other highly-selective colleges and universities.

Same College, Alternative Path In

Today, students applying to a handful of schools on both coasts might see their admission offers contingent on an unanticipated timeline.  A sampling of schools and programs potentially offering applicants a later freshman start include:  

The Spring Difference 

Top-of-mind questions for second semester admits concerns the impact of a spring start on forging solid social connections. What will campus life be like for the new group joining established classmates who have been living and learning together on campus since fall orientation?

Students who begin college via the second semester option tend to report that their smaller cohort provides them with a more intimate, bonded social experience at their start of college. A strong January campus orientation program can serve to support those connections.  

Sometimes a later start incorporates a first semester international experience, the destination country compatible with the student's intended major. Participants bring these closer connections back with them to campus in January.

An organized program, such as the University of Maryland - College Park's Freshman Connection, offers spring admits an optional opportunity for a fall start, living on campus while choosing from selected classes. In contrast, other schools may leave the choice of fall programming entirely up to the student, potentially involving employment, volunteerism, or community college classes for credit. 

Cornell University's First Year Spring Admit (FYSA) program admits up to 50 students as "January freshmen," while recommending pursuit of enriching extramural involvements prior to arriving in Ithaca for spring semester.

The University of Southern California offers students the opportunity to pursue classes at affiliated American universities located in Europe where they may pursue classes for credit with students from around the world.

Regardless of the entry date, the premise supporting a January start is enrichment for the student prior to the start of college, bringing even greater anticipation and readiness for their educational experience.

________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com

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