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Getting to Know the Schools
Getting to Know the Schools

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So Many Schools, So Little Time...Start Exploring Early

There are many ways to learn more about colleges and vocational programs.  Learn more about each of the following below:

  • College and Career Fairs
  • College and Military Representatives Visiting Your High School
  • College Presentations at Hotels
  • Campus Visits
  • Naviance Student SuperMatch 
  • Student Fly-In Programs
  • Virtual Campus Tours & Virtual College Fairs
  • Online Information-Colleges, Trade Schools, Apprenticeships & More

College and Career Fairs

UCS College and Career Events

Utica Community Schools annually presents the following informational events for students and families.  Check the UCS website and your weekly UCS Update e-mail  for details.

  • UCS Academic Blitz (typically held in January or February)
  • UCS Career Expo (typically held in March)
  • UCS College Fair (typically held in April)
  • UCS Career Focus Luncheon (typically held in May for 6th grade students)

Other College Fairs

National College Fair in Detroit (typically held in March)


Interlochen Performing and Visual Arts Fair


MACRAO Michigan College Fair Calendar


Colleges that Change Lives College Fairs

College and Military Representatives Visiting Your High School

Each school year, representatives from colleges, universities, and branches of the U.S. military request the opportunity to share information with our students.  Our UCS high schools share information about these visits using Naviance.  Details are available in the counseling office at each high school.

Today's Military


College Presentations at Hotels

Some out-of-state colleges are eager to meet with Michigan students but unable to visit each high school individually.  These schools often rent a hotel conference room in the Metro-Detroit area and invite interested students to attend a presentation.  The links below are groups of highly selective colleges whose representatives travel together and present in Michigan.

Exploring Educational Excellence (typically visit Michigan in May)


Exploring College Options (typically visit Michigan in May)


Campus Visits

Junior year can be a great time to visit colleges and vocational programs, but it can also get very busy with schoolwork, sports, clubs, and part-time jobs.  Don’t be afraid to start visiting schools early.  It’s a good idea to start visiting 1-2 colleges a year beginning in 9th grade so that the task is not as daunting during the junior and senior years.

College campuses often offer visitation programs for students as young as junior high since there is a lot of value in students understanding the types of course selections and grade point average colleges are looking for before high school starts with 9th grade. 

Students who visit and apply to four or more colleges typically end up accepting better financial aid and/or scholarship offers than those who apply to a smaller number of schools.  College Board recommends that the optimal number of college applications is 5-8, with a range of schools including stretch and likely schools.

 NACAC College Visit Advice

 Big Future Campus Visit Guide

 Big Future Campus Visit Checklist

 Questions to Ask on Campus Visits

 Campus Visit Checklist

Naviance Student SuperMatch
The SuperMatch college search tool within Naviance Student makes it even easier for student to explore their options and discover colleges that are a match with thier academic profile and a fit with what they're looking for in a college experience. 

How-to-Guide SuperMatch 

Student Fly-In Programs

Students interested in out-of-state schools should keep in mind that some schools will pay for flights for strong candidates to visit.  Even in northern Michigan, some colleges will offer gas cards as an incentive to get students to visit campus.  You can call a college and ask if they offer a fly-in program.  Here is one list of schools that offer fly-in programs.

 College Green Light List of Fly-In and Diversity Programs

Virtual Campus Tours & Virtual College Fairs

For students who wish to visit a college, but are prevented from doing so due to distance or costs, virtual campus tours can be helpful.  Many colleges offer a campus tour directly on their websites.  The links below lead to sites which offer virtual tours for multiple campuses.


eCampus Tours

College Week Live Virtual College Fairs

Online Information

Naviance is the career and college information platform that UCS offers students.

College Navigator is a site maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics. Many other college websites use data from this site.  Colleges and universities are required to report the information available on this site.


Big Future is a site offered by the College Board

Learning About Colleges in Michigan         

Michigan College Guide

Michigan Association of State Universities

Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities


Community Colleges

Macomb Community College

Michigan Community College Association

Schools within the School

At larger schools, students who pursue their education through an Honors College or Residential College often report a better college experience.  These colleges-within-a-college often make the learning experience more personal and rewarding.  The links below provide examples of residential and honors colleges.  Students are encouraged to inquire about the availability of residential colleges and honors colleges at their schools of interest.

​Residential Colleges at Michigan State University

CMU Health Professions Residential College

Honors Colleges

 Western Michigan University Lee Honors College

 Oakland University Honors College

 GVSU Honors College

Trade Schools, Apprenticeships and More

Skilled Trades

Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program

Registered Apprenticeship Programs

O’NET Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook