Long Island Parent Talk

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College fair is packed with students, parents

Alyssa Drake, 17, left, of Dix Hills, and

Alyssa Drake, 17, left, of Dix Hills, and her mom, Karen, attend a college fair at the Long Island Hilton in Melville. (Credit: Beth Whitehouse)

I went to my first college fair recently at the Long Island Hilton in Melville. My son –  who will be going to college in the fall of 2014 – stayed home to study because it was a weeknight and he had an AP Physics exam the next day.

So I waded through the tables and tables of colleges – more than 200 of them in this trade-show-style event -- myself. The organizers of the "Spring College Fair" have this down to a science – registrants get a bar code that the admissions representatives can scan lickety split if you want more information on their programs.

Most kids were there along with a parent; some other parents were flying solo, like me. In line in front of me to check in was Alyssa Drake, 17 and a junior at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, with her mom, Karen. “I want to see any college that would be a good match for me,” Alyssa said. She’s interested in pre-law.

The hotel ballroom was packed. “You can ask any question you want,” said Kate Rowe, president of the Western Suffolk Counselors’ Association, which organized the free, annual event. “If you have a question that’s not answered in the brochure, you can get more in-depth information here.”

I went home with a bag filled with brochures and a notebook full of notes on colleges my son had expressed interest in. Next step: campus visits.

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