Students had a chance to use a cool bit of tech and possibly prevent writer’s cramp when they attended the 33rd Annual Nassau Counselor’s Association (NCA) College EXPO at SUNY College at Old Westbury on Sunday, Sept. 22. NCA, like other college fair organizers across the country have begun to do, instructed attendees to throw out their pens, register online for a barcode pass, and have college reps scan that barcode for their personal information.
Students and parents attend college fairs to help with their college search. They get a great deal of information about many colleges in one location in a short period of time. A bonus is an opportunity to speak with college representatives and exchange contact information which can be used to follow-up and demonstrate student interest. Students can begin additional inquires with a thank you for their college fair meeting and go on to ask more questions, request interviews and arrange for college visits.
Scanned information is a time saver for thousands of students waiting their turn to speak with college representatives. The turnout last year at the 2012 Fall EXPO was more than four thousand students and parents and this year a similar number was expected. That’s a lot of students who no longer have to waste time filling out inquiry cards from their choices of over 250 colleges plus military and career schools that set up information booths.
Once data is entered, the barcode can be presented at any future participating college fair in the nation. Students can go to www.gotocollegefairs.com to check for a fair near them and to register online. There is no fee to register.
Info on barcoded pass
College reps have access to information supplied by students on their registration forms via scanning the barcode pass. Students can expect to fill out name, address, academic interests, intended majors, high school name and year first attending college. Not all fields are required such as ethnicity and religious affiliation, extracurricular activities, varsity sports, SAT/ACT scores, class rank and GPA.
Students should carefully fill out their registration form and check for accuracy. Before entering info, such as Facebook or other social media pages, students should make sure the content is worthy of mom’s seal of approval. Note that students may be asked if they can be contacted via text or social media pages.
If describing generic preferences for a college’s setting, size, distance from home and location in/out of state, students should make sure the info does not contradict a college that sparks their interest. For example, a New Yorker whose first choice college is University of Maryland, College Park, a large school in a suburban setting, shouldn’t also select descriptions of desired attendance at a small urban school in his home state.
If there is a change in the provided data, students should update using their username and password.
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