The College Countdown – Opportunities to Learn More About Colleges

The green leaves of Portland are hinting yellow and red, which means school is in full swing. For seniors this marks the beginning of a busy fall, complete with the academic and social demands of school. Tacked onto this already busy schedule is the college search and application process. With college application season just around the corner, the first few months of fall mark the home stretch in the college search process as students attempt to narrow down their final college lists. Students needn’t worry, however, as there are many opportunities to gather information and meet with college admissions personnel throughout the season. Consider the following:

High School Visits:

During the fall, admissions representatives descend on Portland and visit high schools, providing students the opportunity to connect with them, learn more about potential colleges and ask questions. A list should be available in high school guidance centers or, if a school uses Naviance, visits will be listed there. Students should be sure to sign up according to school policy in order to be excused from class!

College Interviews:

Interviews provide the perfect opportunity for students to meet one on one with an admissions representative or college alumnus. Interviews are not just one-sided but instead give students a venue to showcase their qualifications and interests while also interviewing the school to determine overall fit. College interview dates and locations can be found on admission websites of most colleges. An appointment is usually required.

College Fairs:

Typically held in a coliseum or gymnasium, college fairs offer students and families the option of viewing multiple colleges in one location. When preparing for a college fair it is best to go in with a plan. Most college fair websites provide a listing of participating colleges so students can create a roadmap of schools they would like to see instead of wandering aimlessly through the crowd – an experience that can be very overwhelming! Students should take time to consider the questions that are important to them in choosing their colleges and they should not be shy about seeking the information they need. After all, a final college list is only as good as the time and effort students invest. College fairs in our region include:

PNACAC Mid-Willamette College Fair

Sunday, October 3
12:00 – 3:00 pm
Lane Community College Gym
Eugene OR

Christian College Fairs:

Monday, October 11
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Rolling Hills Community Church
Tualatin OR

Tuesday, October 12
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Portland Christian Jr/Sr High School
Portland OR

Portland National Performing & Visual Arts College Fair:

Wednesday, October 27
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Portland State University
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
Portland OR

NACAC Portland National College Fair

Friday, November 12
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, November 13
1:00 – 5:00 pm
Oregon Convention Center
Portland OR

The college search can be a stressful time but it doesn’t need to be. Students who set time aside to research colleges and take advantage of the above opportunities will find that the effort pays off with a list of wonderful college options. Good luck!