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College Fairs: Do's and Don'ts

For many, the college fair is where the search begins.

Christina Alfaro

August 25, 2014

College Fairs: Do's and Don'ts
The college fair: where it all begins. For the enthusiast who is ready to learn all about their dream school, for the open-minded students who have yet to decide where they would like to spend their college years and, even for the undecided, wavering from school to school. It’s the start of what many will find to be a challenging search to discovering where they belong.

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College fairs offer a great opportunity to educate yourself about different colleges and get first-hand information from college representatives about everything from academic and athletic scholarships to what main majors they are known for. Make the most out of every college fair you attend by following these tips:

Do start early:

Although many may not find it necessary, it’s never too early to start your search for college. You can be attending college fairs as early as your ninth grade year of high school. The earlier you start, the more college fairs you will be able to attend and you will be introduced to a more variety of schools making it more likely to find a school that strongly interests you.

Don’t have a closed mind on what colleges you may be interested in:

Colleges near and far, campuses both large and small, private universities, and schools you may have never even heard of will be at the college fair. As a result, it’s important to keep an open mind and learn about as many universities as possible. In doing this you will greatly help yourself in finding a school best suited to you.

Do be prepared with questions:

It’s perfectly okay to show up to a college fair with no school in particular in mind, but be sure to come with questions so you are simply not a bystander at these events.

Some insightful questions include:
What kind of financial aid does this school offer?
How large is the campus?
What core majors are at the school?
How is the community surrounding the school?
What is the annual tuition?
This is the time to ask as many questions as you’d like so you can learn and, hopefully, discover the college for you.

Don’t put off attending a college fair because you are unsure of where you’d like to attend:

This is possibly the perfect opportunity for those who have yet to decide or narrow down their search for colleges. College fairs are held at local high schools or community colleges so there are no expenses of traveling to far off colleges for a tour of a school you know nothing about and have no interest in. You’ll learn about what majors each school offers, what their campus and school community is like. Make sure you don’t let these opportunities pass you by!

Do ask about upcoming college tours:

If you find a college that catches your interest and you want to learn more about, don’t be shy to ask about college tours. That‘s the next step to narrowing down your search for college and getting involved with the school of your choice.

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