College Fairs 101

In Discover on Dec 07, 2016

Have you been to a college fair yet? If not, it’s time to start thinking about doing so! College fairs are beneficial for all high school students, but the earlier you start attending, the more prepared you’ll feel.

We bet you’ve got a few questions, so we’ve put together the essentials on college fairs for you:

What is a College Fair?
It’s an event at which representatives from multiple colleges get together in one place. Students can visit booths for different schools, get brochures and other materials and ask admissions representatives questions about a college. Some fairs also host workshops on choosing a school, application advice, scholarships or financial aid.

Why Should I Bother Going?
Dropping by a college fair gives you the chance to check out lots of different schools at one time. You’ll have the chance to ask questions that might not be answered on a school’s website and you might discover an institution you hadn’t previously heard of!

Where Can I Find a College Fair?
College fairs are often held at local community centers, junior colleges or conference centers. Ask your guidance counselor, principal, or teachers about upcoming events in your area.

What Should I Do There?
Grab a bag for brochures and other promotional items and start checking out the different booths! Ask the representatives questions and take notes on what they say. Here are few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • What type of student thrives at your school?
  • What sets your college apart from others?
  • Does your school have a program for the majors I’m considering?
  • What percentage of your students complete their degree within four years?
  • Are there student organizations and extracurriculars for activities I’m interested in?
  • How do incoming freshmen choose their classes?
  • What percentage of graduates are working or continuing their education within six months of graduation?
  • How many students complete internships before they graduate?

If the fair has a seminar, it’s probably worthwhile to attend. These sessions are often about important topics like college fit, financial aid and the FAFSA.

What’s Next?
After the fair, review the materials you received and notes you took. Which colleges really stood out and which didn’t seem like they’d be a good fit? A college fair should help you both expand your options and eliminate schools. Don’t forget to add the schools that interest you to your list and calculate your chances of getting in!

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