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College Fairs Go High-Tech

Fall 2011 | Archives

High school students and college admissions representatives have their own name for fall… college fair season. Depending on the college, reps travel far and wide to fairs held at various high schools, community centers and other institutions across the state of Nebraska between August and November.

high school students High school students look forward to visiting with their favorites and learning about colleges that might not have been on their radar prior to the event… as well as picking up a free pen or two. Although the professionals sent to represent their colleges are full of great information, sometimes the administrative task of filling out student interest cards (which include name, address, phone number, intended major, etc.) can get in the way of the student and the rep having a meaningful conversation.

Enter the College Fair Automation barcode and scanner system, a method to speed up the exchange of information between students and colleges.

Prior to attending a college fair or Educational Planning Program, students will be encouraged to complete an online registration form that will capture their demographic information. Then they will print off a personal barcode to take to the events. College representatives will be equipped with a small, pocket-sized scanner that reads the bar code and enters the student's information quickly, leaving enough time to talk about the things that matter most.

students in library This helps both parties in a variety of ways. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, reading the writing (or trying to write!) in the small spaces provided on interest cards may prove to be difficult, resulting in data entry errors. With the automated system, the information is given to the college exactly as the student enters it online. The scanners also keep traffic moving and let the conversation flow about financial aid, location, student life and athletics.

This process has been used around the country and will make its Nebraska debut this fall at 29 different college fairs around the state. If your high school student is interested, check with a guidance counselor about registering his/her information and getting a personal barcode. Happy college fair season!

For more information on the program, visit www.gotocollegefairs.com or contact the Omaha office of EducationQuest at (402) 357-6300.

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