The idea of going to college can be an exciting possibility, but with over 2,000 colleges and universities within the United States, identifying schools can be quite overwhelming. College fairs are a great opportunity to see a cross-section of colleges, learn about academic programs, campus life and about the college application & financial aid processes.
Fairs can be a local, regional or national events. National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) sponsors fairs throughout the year around the country. Unites States Fairs can provide high school students & families and adult students with the opportunity to speak with Admissions staff. If you live where college fairs are not accessible to you, consider participating in virtual college fairs by College Week Live or College Greenlight
To get the most from a college fair, there are several strategies that can help you create a picture of the college or university that you can see yourself attending.
- Do your homework. Take time to things about the type of school (big/small), location (urban, suburban or rural), academic programs and campus life you seek. Research school types and academic programs online to get a feel for the various type of colleges that meet your academic & career goals. Begin to create your college list. There are several online tools that can assist you such as College Board Big Futures.
- Identify & research the colleges you will speak with during the fair. A great way to get a jump on your conversation with the admissions representative is to sign up to receive admissions materials and information about upcoming on-campus activities.
- Prepare questions unique to your interests. Be thoughtful about what you would like to know from the admissions representative. Topics can range from: first-year experience; majors; campus life; support services; internship opportunities; career opportunities, security).
- Be confident-smile. Talking with admissions representatives can be a scary proposition for some, but each is there is help you navigate the college selection process. Take notes during your college fair experience. There will be a lot of activity going on around you, so taking notes will keep you focused on your discussion with the admissions representative. Your notes will be helpful later as you consider each college or university further.
- Request the Admissions Representatives business card. Sending a thank you note or email to the representative following the fair. This can be the first step in building a relationship with the college.
Finding a college or university to attend can be a daunting task. The Aspire To College team is available to assist you through the college search, application and selection processes. You can learn more about our team at aspiretocollege.com or call 844-EDU-ASPIRE.