Getting your share at the college fair

October 22, 2006 at 8:54 am 1 comment

Posted by Dee

In high school, I was dragged along to several college fairs by friends of mine. I had the preconceived notion that college fairs were a big waste of time, but in retrospect, they can offer you a lot of value if you go about them the right way.

First, you should identify your goals in attending the college fair.

Are you there to get exposure to colleges you wouldn’t have otherwise known about? If this is the case that you want exposure to the various college options, then you should go to the college fair at the start (because it may take you awhile to hit every table or booth), keep an open mind about the colleges you’ll see, and speak to representatives on a more superficial level, asking them generally about their school. Collect handouts or brochures or pamphlets from each school you visit as a reminder of what they were all about, or keep a list of all the schools you see/talk to.

Or, are you at the college fair to get saturation with only a select few colleges? If this is the case, then you should first check to see which schools are represented at the fair to make sure yours are on the list, and write out a list of any questions you have for each particular school.

Regardless of which of the above two are aim, do bring paper and writing utensils; this is really important for writing down any extra questions you get, any new or interesting information the representatives divulge to you, or just thoughts or comments or concerns that come to mind for each college or university.

Remember that lots of other students will likely be at the college fair too, so you may have to wait awhile to get a chance to speak to the school’s representatives. Do listen to what the rep is telling other students; no need to fear eavesdropping in this situation.

Be polite; you never know who the school is going to send to be their representative. Sometimes it’s just a random alumni who lives in the area, but other times schools actually have the actual admissions people present at college fairs, so be on your best behavior! (Not that you shouldn’t always be polite anyways!)

Finally, it’s not a bad idea to bring a medium-sized bag along to college fairs. I can guarantee you’ll get at least a few brochures or pamphlets or handouts, not to mention perhaps getting free schwag like t-shirts or pens.


Entry filed under: Admissions, Alumni, Checklist, College fair, College trends, Colleges/Universities, Education, Guest speaker, High school, Motivation, Organization, Timing, Tips/Tricks.

A “duh” tip #1 Do I need a private college counselor?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sam Jackson  |  October 23, 2006 at 8:49 pm

    All very good tips, and I would put special emphasis on the eavesdropping (!) because even if you push yourself to think up lots and lots of questions beforehand, your peers are always going to have some more you never imagined. Plus, if there’s a big group of people, you can use someone else’s question as a lead-in to your own in order to cut the queue.


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