GREENCASTLE -- Anyone wanting to learn more about a variety of Indiana universities and colleges can attend the Putnam County Area College Fair this Wednesday.
The fair, hosted by Area 30 Career Center, will be at the Dixie Chopper Business Center at 102 Ballard Lane between 6:30 and 8 p.m. More than 30 Indiana and out-of-state schools will be represented.
"This is for all Putnam County students and even surrounding counties, not just our students," Area 30 director Lora Busch said.
Busch said students as young as eighth graders have attended the fair.
Heather Elkins, Area 30 guidance counselor, said this college fair could help students to understand what different colleges are looking for.
"What's so hard about counseling now and giving students advice is that every school is so different in what they're looking for in a student," she said. "Once upon a time you could say, 'These are the classes you need to take, these are the kinds of activities you need to do,' and it is just not that way anymore.
"Every place is looking for something different, and my advice to students is that you need to talk to that school," she said.
Elkins said another advantage to this event is the timing, which matches up with an application incentive for more than 30 colleges and universities, including DePauw University.
"This week is called College Go Week," Elkins said. "It's a week where a lot of Indiana schools waive application fees if students apply online. It's a goal for students to apply early and for seniors to get that application in."
Elkins said this is also a good opportunity for students to learn about local scholarships because the Putnam County Foundation will be at the fair.
"They offer a lot of information about scholarships," she said. "There are tens of thousands of dollars available for a wide variety of scholarships. Every scholarship is looking for a different type of student. Some want the 'C' student who has shown a work ethic. Not the 'A' student just focused on academics."
Elkins said early applications could mean the difference between getting into a particular school and not being accepted -- especially with increased competition for some schools.
"With the technical schools and schools that offer an associate degree, the high school students are now competing with adults for positions," she said. "You might have a radiology program that only accepts 20 students and you'll have 500 applicants. You're now competing with displaced workers who aren't necessarily smarter but they have more experience in life."