College Fairs: A Fun, Easy Way to Get the FactsTweet
College fairs – what’s the point? Can’t you just look up all that information online these days?
That’s exactly what I thought as I headed off to my first college fair– which my mom made me go to, of course! But I was in for a surprise.
I discovered that college fairs offer a lot more than the standard online information or application packet that a US college or university generally provides. In fact, college fairs are one of the best ways to collect a lot of information in a very short amount of time.
What is a college fair anyway?
A college fair is literally a room with a bunch of informational booths representing various colleges and universities. Representatives from the schools man each booth, talking to students, answering questions, and passing out informational pamphlets and promotional knickknacks, like key chains.
What am I supposed to do at a college fair?
How involved you get at a college fair is completely up to you.
I would definitely recommend talking to the school representatives. Don’t be shy! The college reps are there for the specific purpose of talking to high school kids about the school they represent, and odds are they’ve heard every question out there, from “How are the professors?” to “How does the cafeteria food taste?”
Even if you don’t get a chance to talk to a rep, it’s still worth your while to make the rounds and hear what other kids are asking. It’s also a great idea to talk to other students attending the fair to compare notes.
Be sure to grab the information that schools you are interested in hand out. You don’t have to read it all there. You’ll be happy to have the extra info later, as you start comparing US schools and deciding where to apply – trust me!
How much does a college fair cost?
This one’s easy: nothing!
College fairs are one of the best free resources you can find to get in-depth info about a lot of schools at one time.
If there aren’t any college fairs in your area, keep in mind that you will have to pay for travel costs and possibly a place to stay for a night. Most students find that the small investment is well worth it though, and there are tons of college fairs all over the country so you should be able to find something close to home.
Where are college fairs?
Your high school guidance counselor should be able to provide you with a list of upcoming college fairs, including information like when and where they are. The National Association of College Admissions Counselors also provides a comprehensive list of upcoming college fairs which is generally updated every fall.
Not all college fairs are the same! There are local college fairs that may be hosted by your high school, massive national college fairs usually held in bigger cities, college fairs for liberal arts programs, and even college fairs just for performing arts and fine arts programs.
Some Additional College Fair Advice …
If you plan to attend a college fair, definitely try to figure out what types of schools you are interested in beforehand. For example, consider whether you would prefer co-ed or single sex schools, and what sort of college curriculum you are interested in.
Once you have an idea of what colleges you might like, you can make it a point to meet representatives from those types of schools at a college fair. Attending your first college fair is an exciting experience – and a great way to get a lot of information in a short amount of time.