Juniors should be knee deep in creating an initial list of colleges. Here's another tool for your research arsenal -- college fairs. At college fairs, admission representatives or alumni are present to answer questions and pass out brochures and other information to students and their families. These events are a great starting point to learn more about a wide range of schools or to get to know one of the colleges on your list more deeply.
Since these events can be crowded and chaotic, an action plan can help ensure that you get the most out of the experience. Here are our suggestions:
* Obtain a list of the participating colleges online or from your college counselor in advance of the fair and determine which schools’ booths you will want to visit.
* Do some homework. Check out the websites of the schools you want to visit and prepare a list of questions after you’ve done some research.
* While you're collecting brochures from colleges in which you may be interested, also pick up the business card of the school's representative. They could be a good contact point for further information.
* Do not bring a resume. Schools are not interested in a resume from you at this point.
* College fairs sometimes include information sessions on subjects such as financial aid or the search process, so plan accordingly if you want to attend.