COLUMBIA, S.C. — COVID-19 has left nothing untouched, including college fairs, the long-time rite of passage for high schoolers in the college selection process.
SCICU colleges and universities are embracing the pivot to virtual and online events through their participation in the four-week Virtual College Exploration sponsored by the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO). In its 50 years of operations, CACRAO has managed and hosted many college fairs throughout South Carolina and North Carolina.
Beginning September 14 and running through October 13, colleges and universities will have the opportunity to interact virtually with tens of thousands of prospective college students. The sessions are targeted towards prospective students living in North Carolina and South Carolina, but event organizers also expect students from other states to participate in the event.
CACRAO is partnering with StriveScan, a leader in providing nationwide opportunities for colleges to connect virtually with students. In an online event held April 20-May 28, 2020, StriveScan hosted the largest virtual college exploration program in history. The event statistics are impressive – 404 sessions with over 178,000 high school students and counselors, representatives from 523 colleges/universities (1,130 admission professionals), and a total of 31,238 questions asked.
In CACRAO’s virtual fair focusing on students living in North Carolina and South Carolina, colleges and universities have two ways for directly interacting with prospective students – topic-specific sessions featuring panel discussions with representatives from three colleges (eg. “Small + Private Colleges in S.C.”) and informational sessions focusing on their specific college admissions process. The topic-specific panel discussions will run Sept. 14-18, and the institution-specific information sessions are scheduled Sept. 21-Oct. 13. Each session will be 45 minutes long, and student questions will be answered live. Each participating college or university is limited to one institution-specific session, but each institution may participate in multiple topic-specific sessions.
The virtual exploration session schedule may be viewed at https://www.cacrao.org/programs/2020-high-school-student-registration. Session registration is free for high school students and school counselors.
CACRAO’s partnership with StriveScan makes it easy for students and counselors to participate from nearly any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Upon registering for sessions, participants are emailed Zoom links for the sessions. Registration information provided by students and high school counselors – including their contact information – will be shared with the colleges and universities hosting the virtual sessions. CACRAO and StriveScan will make recordings available online throughout the fall, allowing students and counselors to watch sessions later on demand.
SCICU member colleges and universities scheduled to present during the CACRAO fall 2020 Virtual College Exploration Event include Anderson University, Charleston Southern University, Claflin University, Coker University, Columbia College, Columbia International University, Converse College, Erskine College, Furman University, Newberry College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College, and Wofford College.