Massachusetts Goes West to Enlist New College Students

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Educators from Massachusetts are hitting the road this season to attend National College Fairs in Texas and California, part of an organized effort to entice high school students to select the Bay State for their college choice.

The roadshows are organized by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM), an educational association representing over 60 independent and private schools in Massachusetts. AICUM has teamed up with the state’s public universities and colleges to present a united front at these fairs.

The strategy is to create a distinct brand by bringing together dozens of participating schools from across the Commonwealth into a single pavilion under the Massachusetts banner.  It’s a novel way for the Massachusetts schools to stand out before the thousands of high school students, parents and guidance counsellors shopping for colleges in the sprawling exhibit, which has schools from all 50 states.

This week AICUM is attending the Dallas/Ft. Worth National College Fair on Monday, February 10, at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas, followed by the Houston National College Fair at the Reliant Center on Thursday, February 13.   At each show, a full range of Massachusetts colleges are represented, from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Northeastern University to Mt. Holyoke College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

In April, Massachusetts is attending the National College Fairs in San Diego on April 23 and Los Angeles/Pasadena on May 1, 2014.  California ranks third - after New York and Connecticut – for the number of non-Massachusetts students enrolling here each year.

The outreach to prospective college students fits into Governor Deval Patrick’s strategy for growth, which is “about investing time, ideas and money in education, innovation and infrastructure.”

Massachusetts has one of the most renowned clusters of universities and colleges, research centers, and medical training institutions in the world.  With over 100 college campuses across the state, and over 500,000 students enrolled each year, Massachusetts offers an impressive range of educational choices that include private and public universities, medium sized colleges, denomination schools, all-women’s colleges, art and music schools, technical schools and community colleges.

The Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has worked with innovation industries to set up excellent internship programs in Life Sciences, BioTechnology, Clean Energy, High Tech and other fields, which allow students to make the transition from college curriculums to real-life experience.

To find out more about what Massachusetts has to offer, visit AICUM for private colleges and universities, or the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for a list of public higher education campuses.

If you’re planning to visit college campuses in the coming year, has a handy compendium of schools, with information on directions, transportation, local events , hotels and restaurants and other things to make your trip memorable.