Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Know Before You Go: College Fairs

College Fairs

If you have a college fair coming up, there are a few things you need to know.

High school students are often encouraged to attend college fairs. Teachers insist that it’s a great way to check out colleges you may be interested in while also discovering new schools you had never considered. Guidance counselors advise students to use the opportunity to talk to college representatives and make a great impression. Although these authority figures are absolutely correct, that doesn’t mean that college fairs are for everyone.

If you’re already a little overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing a school, a college fair may be an unnecessary step in the college search process. Students who already have plenty of schools in mind may not be looking for additional schools to consider. However, if you’ve been dying to talk to a representative from a certain school in person, college fairs offer an easy way to get some face time and ask those gnawing questions you’ve been pondering.

On the other hand, there are plenty of students who need some guidance when it comes to finding the right college or university. They know they want to go, but they aren’t sure where to begin. If you’re among this group, then attending a college fair is a great way to familiarize yourself with potential schools and ask questions from college reps.

If you have a college fair coming up, there are a few things you need to know. Use this checklist, if you want to get the most out of your time.

College Fair Checklist

Dress nicely

This is no black tie event, but there is something to be said for a student who looks put-together and organized. It reflects well on you and ensures that college representatives will take you seriously when you ask a question.

Bring a tote

Colleges will be handing out loads of brochures, pamphlets, information sheets and possibly even souvenirs. You’ll come home with a pile of stuff, so make sure you have somewhere to put it during the event. Any tote bag or even a sizeable folder will do.

Bring a notebook and pen

Before you go, jot down a few questions you’d like to ask the college reps if you get the chance. For example, you can ask whether the school offers a particular major you’re interested in, or what types of financial aid they offer. Use the notebook to write down your impressions of each school and any notable information you learned while visiting their booth.

Pick up business cards

If you find that you’re particularly interested in certain schools, make sure you talk to the school’s representative and get their business card. Keep in touch with them if you’re serious about applying. It won’t guarantee your admission, but it won’t hurt to have someone on the inside who can give you sound advice and attest to your commitment.

If you’re interested in learning more about college fairs in your area, talk to your guidance counselor or get in touch with the National College Fairs Program.

Ashley Henshaw
Author: Ashley Henshaw
Ashley Henshaw is a freelance writer for STUDY Magazine.
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