The Greater Norristown Regional College Fair will be held on Feb. 21 at the Greater Norristown Police Athletic League (GNPAL).
Going into its third year, the college fair will host nearly 40 accredited colleges and universities. Over 125 high school students from around Montgomery County, in grades nine through 12, as well as their families, are expected and encouraged to attend. In addition, college students interested in transferring and adult students, are also welcomed to the event.
“It’s open to the public, just come on in,” Maggie Hall, a GNPAL board of directors member, said.
Hall, who sits on the board’s Education committee, noted the increase of student participation over the last three years, thanks to the partnership between the event’s sponsors Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) and GNPAL.
She said that the two organizations have been reaching out to both students and parents of various school districts, explaining the importance of pursuing higher education.
“It’s a great time to start thinking about it,” Hall said, speaking particularly of younger high school students. “It’s all a piece of a puzzle. If you’ve never been to college before, you may not know where to start.”
Hall describes the event as taking place in an intimate and unimposing setting, where students and families will have the opportunity to speak with college representatives, as well as financial aid officers.
Student participants are encouraged to ask anything and everything about their college of interest, including what majors are available, campus facilities and especially what requirements are needed for entrance to that college.
Never Too Early
In addition to the public evening session, the college fair will also hold a special afternoon session just for the eighth-grade students of the Norristown Area School District.
According to Hall, this aspect of the college fair has provided certain students with possibilities they may not yet have considered.
“There are kids with families that have never been to college,” Hall said. “This will help them ask what I need to do to prepare myself to go to college.”
In preparation of this college fair field trip, Carolyn White, assistant director of admissions at MCCC, has visited with the students and discussed what to expect and what kind of questions should be asked.
According to Hall, after meeting with the college representatives, the eighth-grade students often become excited and want to learn more about going to college.
“That’s the idea,” Hall said. “To give them a hope and dream for their future.”
A Spanish interpreter and a Chinese interpreter will also be available at the public evening session to help families meet with the college and financial aid representatives.
Heading to the Greater Norristown Regional College Fair?
Date – Feb. 21
When – Public evening session: 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Where – Greater Norristown Police Athletic League, 340 Harding Blvd. in Norristown.
Admission - Free