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35th Annual College Fair attracts Chester County students at Exton Square Mall

Exton, PA – High school students and their parents had the opportunity to window shop for their post-secondary style at the Exton Square Mall on October 15, when representatives from over 200 colleges nationwide gathered for the 2018 Chester County College Fair. Attendees were able to explore their options from coast to coast in a matter of hours, visiting college and university booths representing schools from Pennsylvania all the way to California.
 
Coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit, the annual college fair drew 5,000 students and parents from 50 area high schools throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. 
 
Those who attended the event were excited to learn about their post-graduation options. “I want to get an idea of what area I want to pursue,” said Katie, a Henderson High School junior who is keeping an open mind about her options after she graduates. Other students were looking for something more specific. Ryan, a junior at Caravel Academy High School, was on the hunt for the best fit: “I’m leaning towards the field of engineering, so I have been looking at more scientific schools, rather than liberal arts schools.” 
 
By bringing multiple institutions together under the same roof, the fair made it easy for students and their parents to investigate post-graduation opportunities. Additionally, it enabled college representatives to really connect with potential students in a low-pressure setting. Rocky Field, an admissions representative from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, attended the fair for the first time this year and was optimistic about its reach. “We’re always trying to spread the word about our college. We want to introduce it to people who haven’t heard of us, give some more detail and information to those who have heard of us and encourage everybody to visit our campus.” 
 
The fair provided the opportunity for students and their parents to meet with representatives from colleges and universities across the United States and abroad, as well as nursing schools, junior colleges, community and technical colleges, trade and skill schools and branches of the military. Participants and representatives were able to discuss entrance requirements, financial aid, campus life and academic programs. The students also had access to informational brochures and catalogs, which they could review at home.
 
The local colleges and universities that participated in the event included West Chester University, Immaculata University, Villanova University, Cabrini University, Thaddeus Stevens College, Drexel University and Lock Haven University. Out-of-state institutions included Virginia Tech, University of Michigan, Notre Dame of Maryland, Saint Joseph's College of Maine, Wagner College, University of Alabama, University of Tampa and High Point University.
 
In addition to learning about the more traditional educational institutions, attendees were able to speak with representatives from the armed forces, as well as from career, specialized and technical schools, including The Wellness Institute of Chester County and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College.
 
The College Fair is organized by the CCIU on behalf of the school counselors of Chester County. For more information regarding the fair and other CCIU events, please contact Jay Stone at JayS@cciu.org or call 484-237-5053. 
 
 
Beth Edwards
bethe@cciu.org