Earn College Brownie Points: Attend the College Fair

September 13, 2010

Ideally, senior students are narrowing down their choices on where they would like to apply. Visit, if you can and if not, check the website in case the college is visiting our area.  Students who are applying early decision or early action have deadlines starting Nov 1st. Regular admission typically is Jan 1 or later.

Those not able to visit a school due to distance should make themselves known to the admissions officer who handles Mass.  E-mails, a phone call or a skype interview are all possible ways to show your interest if a visit is not possible.

There are college fairs at HHS tomorrow (9/14) and again on 9/30, open to all juniors and seniors. (These are not open to parents) It is a good idea for your child to log on to Naviance and look at the list of who is attending. The admissions officers are usually the same person who will be reading the applications from this area so it is a very good idea to make contact with this person if your child is even considering a particular school. They should shake hands, be personable, express their interest in the school and have a question to ask that is not readily apparent on the website. So, hopefully they will have researched the school a bit – this refers more to the seniors, many juniors may look at this as a chance to gather information, start thinking about what they are looking for in a school, and get motivated about keeping up their grades and extracurricular activities in junior year so they will have many choices to apply to their senior fall.

The admissions people will often make notes on a student which will go in their file. They will be impressed if your child asks for their business card and shoots them a follow up e-mail. All of this is worth it even if your child has already visited the school. Each chance to make a good impression should be taken.

For readers in other school systems, check with your guidance department to see if they are sponsoring college fairs or have information of the many public fairs offered in surrounding communities. This is a good activity for junior year to get a feel for the various choices.

This is a good time to schedule a meeting with your child to sit down and discuss where he/she is in this process. Many families find it works well to have a weekly meeting at this point, with student expectations of what will be worked on each week. Leaving everything until Thanksgiving can create a lot of unneeded stress.

Most Hopkinton seniors will have a chance to meet again this fall with their school counselor and it is good to go prepared with a short list of schools and questions.

Hopefully our kids can find a balance of keeping up with the work needed to find/apply to the colleges that are a good fit, keep up their academics/activities and still enjoy being a teenager!

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