It's College Fair Season...Posted on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 16:12
Fall means football and college fairs. Students -- and parents -- may want to take advantage of these events where college admission officers or alumni are present to answer questions and pass out brochures and other information to students and their families. Free and often open to the public, college fairs are a good way to get an introduction to a wide range of schools at once and a good starting point for your research into schools.
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.
* Leave some time to wander around. A school that you hadn’t considered may catch your eye. Take the time to interact with its admission representative and learn more.
* Helpful hint: if you have some self- stick labels with your name, address, and phone number, bring them along so you can quickly provide this information on schools’ sign-up sheets or info cards.
Check with your college or guidance counselor to find out about upcoming fairs in your area, or go to NACAC’s website to see a posting of national fairs. Also, ask your counselor about fairs that cater to specialized groups, such as students interested in performing and visual arts programs, Hispanic and Latino applicants, scholarship students, and others.