Fall is a busy time for school, sports and…college fairs. Typically held at high school or college campuses, college fairs bring together various schools that are marketing themselves to local students. It is certainly an effective and easy way to explore several options at the same time, under the same roof.
Here are my top tips for ensuring your time at college fairs is useful and productive:
Make a list
Before you arrive to the college fairs, make a list of schools you want to see. Try to choose schools that are at least two hours away from home because a campus visit is harder to coordinate.
Create labels for inquiries
Participating schools usually have inquiry postcards at their tables. To save time from writing your contact information at every school of interest, create a sheet of labels with your information ahead of time so you can easily affix them to the school’s postcards.
Ask the important questions
Most of your common questions can be answered on the school’s website so use your time at college fairs to ask meaningful questions that can’t be found online. Steer clear of discussing personal circumstances with the admissions officers. You don’t want to be the person holding up the line.
This is your time to make an impression. The better you come across to the admissions officer, the better chance you have of learning the requirement of that particular school. Shake hands, make eye contact and don’t forget to smile! Parents: step aside and let your child do the talking!
Be sure to take contact cards at all of the tables you visit. It is always a good idea to follow up with the admissions officer after the college fairs, thanking them for their time and asking any other relevant questions you may have.
College fairs are very useful, especially at the start of your application process. Being prepared and having a positive attitude will help you make the most of them. For a list of college fairs near you, visit NACAC Fairs. For more of our tips on the college admissions process, read our blog on college application help.