College admission professions travel to college fairs every year to meet prospective students. Besides visiting schools, most admission counselors will also attend college fairs. Depending on where you live, there might be many college fairs to choose from in your area. College fairs can range from having a handful of colleges to hundreds of colleges. Some college fairs might be as close as your high school and others will be a little farther away. If you are wondering if attending a college fair is worth your time, the short answer is yes! Below are six reasons why attending a college fair is worth your time.
1. Discover college options
College fairs are not only for high school seniors. Students of all ages can visit college fairs to learn more about colleges. The college fair will allow you to discover a lot of colleges in one room. There will be some colleges with names you know and there will be other colleges you have never heard of before. You can stop at the different colleges to pick up information and ask questions. As you learn more about colleges, you can place colleges on your list or check colleges off of your list.
Don’t only visit colleges that you know. Visit the colleges with lesser-known names. You might discover a college you never heard of before has everything and more that you are looking for in a college.
2. Learn more about colleges
Every college booth will have at least one person who knows a lot of information about the college. Some common people you’ll see at a college fair booth are admission professionals, faculty members, alumni, current students, and parents of students. The people who are at the booths will be able to answer most, if not all, of the questions you have about the college. They can answer questions about academics, extracurricular activities, housing, admission and financial aid.
3. Immediate answers
As you are researching colleges, you’ll find that you will have a lot of questions. If you send out an email to the admission office, you might have to wait for an answer. But, you should be able to get an immediate answer to most of your questions from the person at the college fair. Take the time to ask your questions because you might not get the opportunity to have one-on-one time with an expert on the college again.
4. Make an impression
A great impression can stay with the person at the booth long after the college fair. Introduce yourself, sign up for more information and ask your questions. Be respectful to the person at the table no matter what their role is at the college. Some individuals who at the college fair booth take notes about their interactions with students and those notes may make it to your file. As the admission committee is making their decision on your college application in the future, the note about the great impression you made might tip the scales in your favor.
5. Save money
The website and publications about a college will have a lot of information. However, the personality of the college is also important for you to consider as you are researching colleges. The best way to get a feel for a college is to visit, but sometimes it is not possible to visit every college on your list. The individuals at the college fair table can introduce you to the personality of the college.
6. Free advice
Some college fairs also offer free workshops and information sessions. You might see workshops on building your college list, general financial aid information, and other college admission topics. The sessions will also have time for you to ask your questions. Admission professionals are also great resources for college information. For example, you might be searching for a particular major but come to find out the college you are talking to does not offer the major. Many admission professions will point you in the direction of another college with the major.
College fairs have a lot of great advantages for students and parents. Much of the college fair worth comes from the work you put in before and during the fair. Before the fair, make sure you learn about the colleges that will be in attendance and make a plan for the booths you will visit. Register prior to the fair to save time. And, prepare the questions you want to be answered so you don’t forget what you want to ask the representatives. During the fair, be patient because some colleges will be more popular than others. Lastly, be outgoing and reach out to the colleges you are interested in to ask your questions.
College fairs are worth the time! Check with your school today to see if there will be any college fairs in your area. Or, check out these college fair resources I have put together.