Whether you are a senior in high school needing assistance in finalizing your college application or a student years away from matriculating to higher education institutions and just looking to jump-start the process, you should seriously consider attending the seventh annual McDonald’s Education Expo and College Fair on Sunday, Sept. 8 at the India Community Center in Milpitas.

This free, community-service event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will offer valuable tips and information to aspiring students. Organized primarily by the weekly newspaper, India-West, in collaboration with McDonald’s and platinum sponsor Insight Education, all students from middle schoolthrough high school are invited to attend.

Anyone with an eye toward gaining admission to prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, other Ivy League schools, or the wide array of top-notch University of California system options, will undoubtedly get a leg up by attending the expo and soaking in the advice of several experts.

Getting admitted to top schools is harder now than ever before. There are so many applicants with top grades and excellent test scores that only a small percentage of the applicants to each college are accepted.

Added to the problem of too many applications for the seats available is the fact that the entire college admissions selection process has drastically changed. Good grades, high test scores and great extracurricular activities do not necessarily guarantee admission anymore.

Attendees to the expo will gain an understanding of how to simplify the current complicated admissions process and will receive practical strategies and tips from college admissions experts on how to meet the new challenges.

Students will gain insider knowledge on how to make themselves memorable to college admissions officers.

Experts in college financing will provide information about scholarships, financial aid, loans and other ways to pay for college expenses.

The expo will feature a plethora of speakers who will address hot-button issues for those students and families looking to take the next step in the educational process.

Among the keynote speakers are Wells Fargo & Company market relations manager for education and financial services Casey Galindo, who will help attendees understand the college financial aid process in five easy steps; Ilumin Education co-founder John Chen, who will speak on “Discovering Your Niche: Why Colleges Care about Focus in their Applicants”; and Insight Education co-owner and lead counselor Purvi Mody, who will help with “Avoid College Admissions Insanity. How to Ignore the Hype and Truly Help Your Child Achieve Success.”

Former admissions reader for the University of Chicago and U.C. Berkeley Marcella de Laurentiis, and former admissions reader at Stanford and Harvard Pamela Ng, now both with HelpwithApps.com, will help students “Think Like a Brand”; and College Shortcuts founder Neha Gupta will educate on “How to Survive the College Admissions Process Post Scandal.”

In addition to being able to meet and talk with the speakers, there will be several booths set up in the foyer to obtain even more information.

Some of the booths that will be at the expo include McDonald’s, Wells Fargo, Insight Education, Ilumin Education, College Shortcuts, Flex College Prep, HelpWithApps.com, C2 Education of Milpitas, 7EDU Impact Academy, Futures Academy and UCEazy.

Additionally, every family attending the expo will receive a free copy of Neha Gupta’s valuable new book, “The 4 Year Plan.”

As an added incentive to attend the event, two Lenovo laptop computers will be raffled off at the expo. Every student attending the event will be registered for a chance to win. Winners must be present to claim the prize. A light lunch and snacks will be provided at no cost. McDonald’s will provide hot tea, coffee and cherry pies during the morning sessions.

The India Community Center is located at 525 Los Coches St. in Milpitas. In addition to platinum sponsor Insight Education, other sponsors include Wells Fargo Bank and Ilumin Education (gold), and College Shortcuts (silver).

Doors open at 10:30 a.m. To register for the event, please log onto www.indiawest.com/collegefair.

More information can be obtained by calling Dyana Bhandari at (510) 383-1147. (See coverage of last year’s Education Expo in India-West here: https://bit.ly/2Pap0Yd,)