Free Scholarship Fairs

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"Our mission is to help students with their post secondary education. We have had in the past, cases where colleges have awarded scholarships right on the spot," Ector says. He stresses that students who are most likely to get instant scholarships come prepared -- they come with a set of detailed questions for the recruiters or with resumes outlining their academic and extracurricular activities. High school juniors and seniors regardless of age, cultural backgrounds, ethnic origins, financial status or gender are eligible, organizers say.

New York area residents are invited to participate in free college fairs that could land them scholarships to colleges and universities in and out of State. The fairs will be held in New York City, New Jersey and in White Plains early next month, organizers say. As many as 120 colleges and universities have confirmed their participation, says Joseph Ector, program coordinator, with The National Scholarship Service (NSSFNS).

Participating schools are generally within 100 miles from New York City. "Our mission is to help students with their post secondary education. We have had in the past, cases where colleges have awarded scholarships right on the spot," Ector says. He stresses that students who are most likely to get instant scholarships come prepared -- they come with a set of detailed questions for the recruiters or with resumes outlining their academic and extracurricular activities. High school juniors and seniors regardless of age, cultural background, ethnic origin, financial status or gender are eligible, organizers say.

Colleges prefer students who come prepared because it makes the admission process easier and also demonstrates the students' maturity, Ector says. Once the students -- it's recommended that parents also attend -- arrive at the fair, they register and then proceed straight to the session with college and universities representatives.

Ector recommends that participating students spend at least 90 minutes at the college fair and visit anywhere from 10 to 12 different college recruiters. The setting permits students to sit down for one-on-one sessions with recruiters, Ector says. The New York City event will be held March 16th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a lunch break at 11 a.m. at the Javits Center, Hall 1D, in Manhattan.

In New Jersey the fair will be held March 14th from 8:30 to 12 p.m. at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Zoomfleisher Gymnasium, at 80 Lock Street, in Newark. The Whiteplains fair is Friday March 18th from  8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, New York. For more information about the New York fair and others in your region students and parents please call  800-226-7738.

Representatives help students navigate through the red tape of financial aid, scholarships and the admissions process. Students are advised about required test scores and other factors used in admissions. Participating entities include the Department of Education, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Ivy League schools, Military academies as well as private and public institutions.

Some of the colleges participating in the New York City fair include Syracuse University, Bowling Green, Central Connecticut State, CUNY, SUNY, Hartwick College, Loyola College of Maryland, Temple University, US Air force ROTC, Perdue University, Utica College, William Patterson College in New Jersey, Monmouth College of New Jersey, Queens Borough Community College, St. Joseph's College, and many others. "I would like to see at least 2,500 students participate," Ector adds, noting that peak attendance was about five years ago when nearly 2,000 students came for the fair.

(NSSFNS) was created in 1946 to assist students gain access into post secondary institutions. The college fairs started in 1963. Colleges and universities send recruiters to meet candidates in different regions annually. In addition to the New York area, the tour includes Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Charlotte, Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, New Orleans, Houston, Montgomery, Birmingham, and several other cities.

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