BigFuture Days: Free College Fairs for Students, Parents

Find the colleges attending these virtual college fairs, save the date, and prepare for this innovative national college-search event.

Shawna Newman

February 24, 2021

BigFuture Days: Free College Fairs for Students, Parents
Nearly 500 universities will be at these college fairs!
High school students and their parents and/or guardians will get to experience a free college fair from their own living rooms. BigFuture Days, which is hosted by College Board, are an adaptation of the original college fair events that occurred prior to concerns of Coronavirus. Students can expect to explore colleges they’re interested in, participate in live Q&A sessions and chats hosted by college admissions teams, and even meet college student representatives. Four BigFuture events are scheduled. All of which are segmented into U.S. regions including: West & Southwest, Southeast, Midwest and Northeast.

Who Can Attend

These events are designed for high school sophomores and juniors, however high school freshmen and seniors unsure about a college are welcome to join, too. College Board encourages parents to join their students in the virtual event. However, parents do not need to register for the event their student plans on attending. Once a student registers, they will be asked to provide their parent’s email address. From this, parents will receive their own login to attend.

National College Fair: Regions, Dates, Times

If you want to attend, you’ll first want to look at the various states and their associated region. Choose the region that is home to your top-choice colleges, or those you’re interested in hearing more about. You can register for any single event or more than one. If there’s a portion of the event, such as the live chat or info workshop you’re more interested in, you have the option to pick and choose—OR attend all sessions. Each session is scheduled for 15–45-minute intervals. The various regions’, states included, dates and times are below:
Northeast: March 7 College Board moves to the Northeastern portion of the U.S. the first week of March. This first segment includes the following states:
    • Connecticut • Massachusetts • Maine • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New York • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • Vermont
More than 105 Northeastern colleges have claimed their attendance at this event, including well-known universities and military colleges such as The Culinary Institute of America, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Academy. The Northeast BigFuture Day is set for 1 – 5 P.M. (PT). Students intrigued by these East Coast schools or attending a college military academy, can sign up on College Board’s website. West + Southwest: March 30 The second series of BigFuture Days and the largest region, this segment include the states of:
    • Alaska • Arizona • California • Colorado • Hawaii • Idaho • Montana • New Mexico • Nevada • Oklahoma • Oregon • Texas • Utah • Washington • Wyoming
There are more than 165 participating colleges in the West + Southwest region’s virtual college fair. This remote event is from 2 – 6 P.M. (PT). If you’re curious about any of these universities or are planning to attend a college from this region, be sure to sign up as soon as possible. Midwest: April 18 The third set of College Board’s BigFuture Days includes universities and colleges in the Midwest. These Midwestern states include:
    • Iowa • Illinois • Indiana • Kansas • Kentucky • Michigan • Minnesota • Missouri • North Dakota • Nebraska • Ohio • South Dakota • Wisconsin
More than 75 colleges will attend the final series of college fairs. This virtual event is from 1 – 5 P.M. (PT). Southeast: April 29 The final, virtual stop for College Board’s BigFuture Days includes the states of:
    • Alabama • Arkansas • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Louisiana • Maryland • Mississippi • North Carolina • South Carolina • Tennessee • Virginia • Washington D.C. • West Virginia
More than 100 college and universities from America’s Southeast will be in virtual attendance. This series of the virtual, higher education fair is scheduled from 2 – 6 P.M. (PT). If you’re a high school student interested in visiting a college in one of these states, plan on attending!

How to Plan for Your BigFuture Day

There are four basic concepts you can use to ensure your time is well spent at a college fair. CHOOSE: College Board recommends reviewing their list of colleges attending the fair and saving them to your own list on BigFuture. If you're not sure on where you may like to attend, work with your high school counselor and family to begin creating a list based up on your goals and interests. Don’t make one of the common 15-mistakes when choosing a college. PREPARE: Prep work on your end is key! If you’re not prepared, you won’t gain all of the benefits from the college fair. Have a list of questions you’d like to ask each admission rep. Use this to compare pros and cons. ORGANIZE: It’s helpful to have a college-choice binder to save all these important documents you keep. Odds are you’ll feel a bit overwhelmed after a college fair. DISCUSS: In most cases, it’s best to come back to your organized notes for review with family members, your high school guidance counselor or mentors. Have a candid conversation and a goal you’d like to accomplish, such as, create a top-choice college list or narrow my list to my five favorite schools. You can find more information about College Board’s first-annual BigFuture Days on the dedicated event page.

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