Both national and regional college fairs are underway across the country and one is likely coming to your community soon. Here are five tips to help you get prepared:
1) Check the calendars for a college fair in your area. Check out the listings of National Association for College Admission Counseling fairs as well as ones run by your local Association For College Admission Counseling or high school.
2) Register for the fair. Instead of wasting time at the fair filling out your information at each college’s booth double check to see if the fair will be using scanners. Many of these college fairs now allow you to enter your information online in advance, print out a bar code, and bring that bar code with you for the colleges to scan on the day of the fair. This way, they are still collecting all of your contact information. and know that you attended the fair. but you can spend your time having good conversations instead of having your head down filling out your name and address.
3) Prepare questions. College admissions representatives don’t have a lot of time to talk at a busy fair. Often, they will jump right to asking “Do you have any questions?” You don’t want to look like a deer in headlights so prepare some questions in advance. Most colleges will have brochures on the table with basic facts: how many students attend, what majors are offered, where they are located, etc. Avoid those questions you can easily find on the table and ask questions that are personal to you and your interests.
4) Find out which schools are attending. Most college fairs will have a list posted of which colleges will be attending the fair. Take some time to go through the list of colleges and see if there are any on the list that interest you. This can also just be a time to go and learn about some schools you weren’t as familiar with. Either way, do a little research first. You want to be able to head to the tables with a little background knowledge.
5) Get their contact information. Many of the representatives who travel to the college fairs are the admissions representatives for your region. They may be the one who actually interviews you in the fall or reads your application. They are also a great resource for you to answer any questions you might have during the admissions process. Make sure to take their business card before you leave.