Attend a college fair— what a great way to get acquainted with many colleges and universities under one roof! You can learn more about schools you’re interested in, get introduced to schools you may not be familiar with and connect with each school’s admissions rep.
Get the most out of college fairs by reading these tips:
- Look online at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) fall schedule. NACAC also offers a schedule for students interested in the performing and visual arts and another one for those students wanting to learn about STEM programs. The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation also maintains a college fair calendar and agencies in your state may do the same. Check with your guidance counselor for a complete schedule of fairs in your school district.
- Save time when you arrive by signing up in advance. Complete the NACAC online registration form, print your barcode and take it to the fair. By scanning your code, college reps will have your information and so you won’t need to fill out individual info cards at each booth. They’ll also have your information if they want to reach out to you.
- Decide which reps you’d like to visit with and which events you’d like to attend by reviewing the list of participating schools ahead of time. Think about what type of school may be the best for you and have a few talking points ready. Ask reps questions that are school specific and can’t easily be answered by looking at their website. Don’t forget to ask for business cards after your conversations.
- Pick up a map when you arrive and begin visiting with the schools at the top of your list. As you walk through the aisles stop in to look at a variety of schools and chat with their reps. Collect brochures and course catalogs to review when you’re back home.
- If you have any questions once you are home, reach out with an email. If you felt you had a meaningful conversation with any particular rep you may also want to send an email or a thank you note.
- Sort through all the brochures and other materials you collected and save the ones you’re interested in. Go online, research the schools you liked and create a preliminary list of schools you’re interested in.