Imagine touring hundreds of colleges without leaving town. You can do it this fall when the National College Fair, the Performing and Visual Arts College Fair and the Black College...

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Imagine touring hundreds of colleges without leaving town. You can do it this fall when the National College Fair, the Performing and Visual Arts College Fair and the Black College Fair come to Seattle. All are free. Here are some details, plus tips on how to make the most of the fairs:




National College Fair


What: Annual event, where college representatives stationed at booths hand out catalogs and field questions; various workshops offered. Last year, 15,000 students and parents attended.


When: Nov. 5, 9 a.m.-noon; Nov. 6, noon-4 p.m.


Where: Washington State Convention and Trade Center


Schools: Of the 300 represented this year, about half are local, the rest from all over — including Vassar College in New York, George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Franklin College in Switzerland.


To learn more: www.nacac.com/fairs.html or atanaka@holynames-sea.org or 206-720-7824



The Performing and Visual Arts College Fair


What: For students interested in the arts, it’s a chance to compare schools’ specialties, instructors’ credentials and students’ chances to perform.


When: Nov. 4, 7-9 p.m.


Where: University of Washington, Husky Union Building, East Ballroom


Schools: Nearly 100, including Cornish College of the Arts, the University of Washington School of Music, The Juilliard School, Oberlin College and the San Francisco Art Institute.


To learn more: www.nacac.com/fairs.html or 206-726-5018



The Black College Fair


What: Lets students look into their options at historically black colleges. A panel of alumni discuss their experiences; workshops on financial aid, test-taking strategies and parent perspectives.


When: Oct. 31, noon-4:30 p.m.


Where: Seattle Central Community College.


To learn more: 206-329-9107 or www.scn.org/collegefair





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Tips:


If you’re a freshman or sophomore, you may want to just wander from booth to booth to see what’s out there.


Juniors would be smart to do a little advance homework — check out some college guides, see what colleges interest you — then make a beeline for the booths of those colleges.


Seniors, while probably already writing your applications, can take the opportunity to fill in any gaps in your knowledge about your schools of choice — and maybe even add one to your list.