A Quick Guide to College Fairs
We always advise our students and their parents to spend a considerable amount of time investigating their college options. But unless you’ve already narrowed your options to one or two schools, visiting one college after another could become time consuming and expensive.
College fairs offer another opportunity to examine schools. You can talk to representatives from colleges you’re already considering, while possibly discovering other schools you previously hadn’t even considered. Sometimes you don’t know what’s out there, until you open yourself to the possibilities!
How does a college fair work? The fair might be hosted by your local high school, or at some other location. Representatives from schools invited to attend will set up information booths, where you can view brochures, ask questions, and maybe even score some cool giveaways. It’s a mass meet-up between college representatives and prospective students.
What can you learn at a college fair? While it won’t replace a campus visit, stopping by a school’s booth gives you a chance to view photos, ask questions, and learn more about the institutions that you’re considering. You might even discover an exciting school that you hadn’t previously considered! Visit your top-choice school booths first, but leave plenty of time to browse the others, too.
Prepare a list of questions to ask the reps from your top-choice colleges. Bring a notebook so you can keep track of the details, and a backpack to stash your freebies and brochures.
What else can you do at a college fair? Many college fairs will hold seminars on topics like financial aid, admissions, SAT and ACT testing, and more topics that will interest you. Get a schedule of events ahead of time, so that you can plan to attend a few of these seminars.
Also, consider giving your contact information to the schools that interest you. Then you can receive regular mailings or email updates on application deadlines, important news, and more need-to-know information.
What should you do after the fair? After getting a feel for the schools that interest you, continue to investigate their admissions process, campus life, scholarships and more via their respective websites. Attending a college fair can help you narrow your options, but you should continue to communicate with each school, and schedule some campus visits, before making your final choice.