More than 75 colleges and universities will available to meet with students and their parents during a college fair Thursday at Columbus East High School.

The event, which will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the main gallery level at the high school, is open to all area high school juniors, seniors and their parents, said Allison Clark, Columbus East scholarship and college visit coordinator.

Students from five other high schools in the area — Columbus North, Columbus Signature Academy — New Tech Campus, Hauser, Indian Creek and Columbus Christian — also have been invited to attend.

The college fair will give high school students a chance to speak directly with representatives from colleges about application deadlines, admission requirements and other topics, Clark said. Regional colleges and universities from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio will be available to share information about their campuses.

For juniors and their parents, it’s a chance to begin an early start in researching college choices, said Kristin Schuetz, Columbus East director of the counseling.

“It’s the easiest way to have that face-to-face interaction and the most efficient,” she said. “They can talk to five different universities easily.”

Parents are encouraged to attend in order to gather important information about financial aid and tuition costs and to receive answers to any questions they might have.

Three excused absences are granted to juniors and seniors during the school year allowing them to visit different colleges.

Schuetz said the college fair will provide information to students about majors and programs offered at different higher education institutions.

“This is a way to get information to compile a list and do a potential visit,” she said.

Students who are interested in attending are encouraged to sign up at gotocollegefairs.com or visit their school’s counseling office for more information.

If you go

What: College fair featuring 75 to 80 different colleges and universities

Where: Columbus East High School, 230 S. Marr Road

When: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday

More information: Students are asked to register in advance by visiting gotocollegefairs.com. Parents also are invited to attend to gather information and to get any questions they may have answered.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com