Over 2,000 parents and students took advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the Turner Chapel AME 2011 College Fair. Colleges from the Ivy League, HBCUs, the U.S. Military Service Academies, and local Community Colleges were represented. Students and parents from 8 public school districts and many private schools were able to speak firsthand with college representatives. Financial aid information and information about the application process to the U.S. Military Service Academies was also available. Not only were students able to receive information from over 50 colleges and universities, some colleges allowed students to submit applications on the spot and waived application fees.

Representatives from SallieMae presented a financial aid and scholarship workshop, awarding one of the participants a $500 college scholarship. Some local high schools recognized the unique opportunity and well publicized the fair by making announcements and talking to students in advisory. Other high schools did little to share the information with students and the numbers showed. 18 local high schools accounted for over 50 percent of the students attending the fair, while many other local high schools did little to share information with students. Parents and students must understand that some high schools do a great deal to prepare students for college while other high schools are only concerned with ensuring that students graduate from high school. Which type of high school does your child attend.

Visiting several fairs, which are generally free to the public, can save a student hundreds of dollars in application fees and demystify the college admissions process. Speak with your high school counselor and identify the local college fairs in your area. The National Association for College Admission Counseling sponsors college fairs nationally, the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation has a listing of college fairs, and The New England Association for College Admission Counseling has a listing of college fairs. The CollegeBoard offers tips on what to do before and after the fair.

Contact us to find out how your church, community organization, or school may do more to prepare students for college.

If you missed the fair, watch the video…