College Fair Tips
It’s college fair time!
This fall – especially in September and October – national college fairs will be visiting our neighbourhoods and admissions counsellors will be showing up at your schools. It’s the time when colleges come to you – so take advantage of it.
College fairs can be extremely informative and helpful, but they can also be “information overload.” Below you will find some tips and information from Wolf College Consulting about college fairs:
- Mark your calendars – Begin your college fair prep with looking up fairs in your area. Your high school should have fliers about upcoming fairs in your area. (For those in Northern Orange County — Newport Mesa Unified School District will be hosting their fair this year at the Orange County Fairgrounds on October 12th from 7-9pm and the North Orange County National Christian College Fair will be on October 10th from 6-8pm at Calvary Chapel High School in Costa Mesa).
- Plan Ahead — Bring a list of questions that you want to ask the college reps – some of my favorites include: What is the personality of your student body? What is the average incoming freshmen GPA? What are the most attended and most popular events/activities on campus? Do you have my major? What is the academic reputation of the school? What percentage of students live on-campus? What are the weekends like on-campus? You might not have time to answer all of your questions, but have a list of your priority questions. Bring a notepad and take notes!
- Show up on time – The fairs typically last only 2 hours. By showing up on-time you will have a better chance of visiting with the colleges you are most interested in.
- Bring a parent — College fairs are not the place to try to look cool, so don’t worry about bringing along mom or dad (don’t worry, students in attendance without a parent will be the minority). If mom or dad are unavailable, bring along a friend or older sibling. You will be collecting tons of information, and having another person to help absorb all the knowledge and ask additional questions will be valuable.
- Continue your research and build on your knowledge. If you find yourself running out of time and not able to visit all the schools you planned on, don’t panic. A college fair should not be the only place you seek out information. Following up with a school is easy to do, regardless of whether or not you have a chance to speak with the rep at the fair. Continue your research, and most importantly, remember that campus visits are the best way to get your questions answered and to get a good feel for each school.