On Tuesday, March 10, the National Association for College Admission Counseling held their annual Greater Raleigh National College Fair at the convention center downtown. I was lucky enough to be one of the 4,500 attendees.
At the fair, colleges from all over the world were represented by two or three alumni at their designated table. High school students from all over the triangle (primarily sophomores and juniors) were able to walk around and explore their possible future education options. Seminars and workshops were also held throughout the fair, which ultimately lasted from 4:30-7:30.
As a student who becomes a dear in the headlights when asked about college, attending the NACAC College Fair was somewhat helpful. It was nice to see just how many options are out there, rather than just the college options in North Carolina and surrounding states. Even colleges from places like England, Paris and Switzerland were represented, schooling options I would have never considered.
Although talking to schools from other parts of the world was eye-opening, attending the fair was the most beneficial when it came to learning about each school’s “requirements.” Of course a few schools still rely heavily on GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but what I found was that a majority of colleges don’t truly have an ideal incoming freshman profile. This kind of information isn’t always something you can find on a website, as one of the alumni I spoke with mentioned that each school is required to provide an average GPA and SAT/ACT score.
Instead, schools like Wake Forest University are relying more on who applicants are as a person. In order to properly do this, colleges will schedule one on one interviews, which, according to an alumni of WFU, are more like casual “conversations.” This is something attendees probably wouldn’t have been able to learn without either attending the fair or touring the college firsthand. For me, it was learning about little things like that which made the fair a positive experience.
The NACAC College Fair is held annually, so I highly encourage rising juniors and sophomores who are interested in pursuing a higher education to register for next year’s fair. It’s free, but what you learn may have a lasting impact when it comes to deciding on a college.