Fair to offer one-stop shopping for higher education

One-stop shopping for higher education will occur for high school students and their parents at the Exton Square Mall on Monday, Nov. 9.

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., representatives from over 240 colleges nationwide will gather for the 2015 Chester County College Fair. Attendees will be able complete a cross-country higher education tour in a matter of hours as they navigate the college and university booths, said a press release from the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU), which is coordinating the event.

The fair will be open to the general public and admission is free. More than 5,000 students from 45 area high schools are expected to visit the fair and explore their post-graduation options.

Students and parents are invited to meet with representatives from colleges and universities across the U.S. and across the Atlantic, as well as nursing schools, junior colleges, community and technical colleges, trade and skill schools and branches of the military service. In addition to discussing entrance requirements, financial aid, campus life and academic programs with the counselors, participants will also walk away with informational brochures and catalogs.

According to Jennifer Shealy, CCIU special events coordinator, the fair will feature something for everyone – from four-year and two-year colleges to specialized schools.

“The fair will feature over 240 colleges and institutions from across the country, saving families time and money on college visits and helping students to narrow down their top choices,” Shealy said in the release. “Additionally, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and some of our sponsors, Advanced College Planning Solutions and Wells Fargo, will be on-site to provide helpful financial planning tools.”

Shealy added that students and families would have the opportunity to visit with career and technical schools, such as the Cleveland Institute of Art, Automotive Training Center and the CCIU Practical Nursing Program, as well as with representatives from the armed forces.

Among the participating local colleges and universities are Villanova University, West Chester University, Widener University, Drexel University, Franklin & Marshall College, Bucknell University, Delaware County Community College, Temple University and Cabrini College.

Representatives from more distant institutions will also be present, including Colorado State University, University of Connecticut, The American International University in London, James Madison University, Purdue University, Virginia Tech, University of Tennessee, University of New England and Catholic University of America.

The Chester County College Fair, organized by the CCIU on behalf of the guidance counselors of Chester County, is sponsored by CCRES Educational and Behavioral Health Services, Wells Fargo and Advanced College Planning Solutions, the release said.

More information regarding the college fair, including a list of participating schools that is being updated daily, can be found on the CCIU’s web site at www.cciu.org/collegefair.

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