For more information on the Probe Fall College Fair Tour or for a complete map of locations and times, visit gaprobe.org.
SOUTH FORSYTH — High school upperclassmen from across the Forsyth County area took some time away from their textbooks Tuesday morning to focus on one common goal: what they want to be when they grow up.
The Probe Fall College Fair Tour made its visit to Forsyth County during a nine-week campaign. The effort includes 69 fairs held at high schools, civic centers and local malls, giving students and parents opportunities to speak with college representatives and gather information on prospective post-secondary options.
About 300 colleges from across the nation attend Probe annually to reach more than 180,000 Georgia high school juniors and seniors between Aug. 31 and Oct. 31.
The Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center welcomed 105 colleges and universities, ranging from Georgia Tech to Purdue University and the University of Missouri.
“Our goal is to provide students access to as many colleges and universities as we can for each community in Georgia,” said Bill Smith, Probe executive director. “Students and parents … have the opportunity to meet the college representatives and get their questions answered about each campus, admissions policies, scholarships and financial aid.”
Students from all five Forsyth County public high schools attended, according to Thomas Neighbour, counseling department chair at Lambert High. Also represented were Pinecrest Academy in south Forsyth and Dawson County High School and Wildwood Christian Academy in Dawsonville.
“It’s good for juniors who are just starting to develop their list of colleges,” Neighbour said. “Sometimes they’ll uncover a school that wasn’t even on their radar.”
People at the tables are often regional recruiters who end up reading many of the incoming applications, he said.
“It’s a good idea for students to consider spending an hour to get the exposure of more than 100 colleges. Just to get out there,” he said.
The fair is voluntary, and most schools did not limit the amount of students who could attend.
High schools in Forsyth each brought about 200 students, Neighbour said.
Zach Brumbalow, a junior at Forsyth Central High, said he went into the fair with a list of schools he had in mind.
He said he wants to go to a college with a focus on engineering, so Georgia Tech and Clemson and Auburn universities have initially been among his top choices.
“You can just go up and ask the people everything you need to know,” Brumbalow said. “There were some of the smaller schools that surprised me with their [engineering] programs.”
He said he is setting up plans to travel to his top-choice schools, and the fair was a good way to initiate that process.
Students who missed Tuesday’s fair or want more information on prospective colleges can attend any of the future events.
Probe will be at the Arena at Gwinnett Center from 6 to 8:30 tonight. Cherokee High School will host the fair from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Students can also go to Gainesville High School from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30.
Students can register in advance for a fair. While not required, doing so will give each student a unique bar code that allows college representatives to quickly capture their information and focus on more productive conversations, according to Probe’s Smith.