Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
Visiting a college campus is an important step for Nebraska high school students in their pursuit of education after high school. EducationQuest Foundation has developed a program called "Go.Visit.College!" This campaign encourages Nebraska's high schools and colleges to work together to coordinate group and individual campus visits.
College and university visits are a crucial part of the college planning process. Students report that college visits have a significant influence on them as they consider where to go to college. Our message is that visiting a college campus is a vital activity for high school juniors and seniors.
Campus visits provide an opportunity to explore academic programs, talk with students and professors, and tour residence halls, classrooms and other campus facilities. Visits provide an opportunity to experience what a college or university has to offer and can help students find the right fit for them.
Campus visits can be especially important for students who don't think they are a good fit for college, or students whose parents may not have gone to college. Many students report changing their perception once they've actually been to the campus.
This effort is about encouraging more of our high school graduates to attend college. We want to move Nebraska into a Top 10 college-going state. The most recent statistics from the National Center for Educational Statistics show that 69 percent of Nebraska's high school graduates go on to college. We can do better.
If you're a junior or senior, you should be preparing for ACT and SAT exams and talking with your parents and counselors about the colleges that interest you. You should make plans to visit a college in person. Nebraska is home to an outstanding range of higher educational institutions. Whether you visit as part of a school group or plan an individual tour with family or friends, colleges and universities welcome high school students for visits year round.
College fairs are a great way to get started and identify places of interest. This fall, EducationQuest Foundation will be conducting six college fairs across the state. These include:
The Grand Island Area College Fair is Sunday, Sept. 16 from 1 -- 3 p.m. at the Exhibition Building -- Fonner Park.
The Norfolk Area College Fair is Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1 -- 3 p.m. at Northeast Community College.
The Scottsbluff/Gering Area College Fair is Sunday, Oct. 7 from 1 - 3 p.m. at the Gering Civic Center.
The South Sioux City College Fair is Sunday, Oct. 14 from 12:30 - 3 p.m. at the Marina Center.
The Lincoln Area College Fair is Sunday, Oct. 21 from 1 -- 3 p.m. at Southeast Community College in Lincoln.
The Omaha Area College Fair is Sunday, Oct. 28 from 1 - 4 p.m. at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
More information on college planning is available at www.EducationQuest.org.
By providing students with opportunities to go visit college, we are preparing them to take the next step in their education. Thank you to the schools that take the initiative by planning campus visits for juniors and seniors. We want every high school and every family to make visiting college a priority this year.