College. I’m honestly hesitant; it just seems like too much work to prepare for... there's the tests, the essays (which I’m kind of excited to write), the community service hours, your senior project, and then on top of that there’s having to look for colleges that are best fit for what you want to study which also seems like a lot of work.
Thankfully college fairs are helping us make it easier to look for the right college and this year they're going virtual! This year the National Association for College Admission Counseling
(NACAC) is holding three days of college fair fun? Am I the only one that finds college fairs exiting?
There are 600+ colleges to look into; this is a time for you to learn, explorer, and discover new colleges and find out which best suits you.
Registering for the college fair
The dates for this year’s college fair land on: Monday Oct. 12, Sunday Oct. 18, and Sunday Nov. 8. The event is really easy to register for as well; all you have to do is:
Go to virtualcollegefairs.org
and select the date of the fair you wish to attend, or if you're up for it, register for all three.
Once you’ve picked your date you’re going to click on the register button and then fill out some information they ask for to keep in touch with you.
After that's all done it’s time for the fun part, looking at all the colleges!
Building your schedule
Once you have successfully registered you're going to see a wide selection of colleges to look at; you’ll also notice that they include a ‘filter bar’ if you’re looking for schools with certain criteria.
Feel free to skim through the colleges and favorite ones you're interested in. The website allows you to click on the schools of your interest and provide a small overview of the schools, as well as the times they have their meetings scheduled.
Pick a few schools of your liking and look into the meetings that they have set up (some schools might be on one date but not another, so you might want to look into more than just one date).
If you click the ‘remind me’ or you’ve scheduled meeting, it will automatically save to ‘my schedule’ (Make sure to not overlap any meetings and to schedule meetings at a reasonable time for you).
How to prepare for the college fair
Before the day arrives you are going to want to prepare a few things to help your experience be a bit easier.
• The number one thing I recommend doing is to look into the schools you're going to be looking at the day of the college fair. This will save so much time and make the Zoom meetings run so much better for you. Look into what the schools known for, programs they offer, as well as any basic questions that you can find online. Once you're in the meeting you can ask in depth questions about the programs that you are interested in, as well as any additional questions you have about the school after looking it up.
• When you’re entering a Zoom meeting it helps to check the chat feed. Sometimes the answers to the questions that you had for that school pop up here. It can also help you catch up a bit and understand what the topic is about if you came in a bit late.
• Another thing to keep in mind before joining the Zoom meetings is to make sure that you are in a quiet place. This way you don’t get distracted when you're on your call. It also really helps when you ask a question—they can understand you better. Also, make sure that your background is clean and simple, not so distracting.
• It also helps to dress nice because even though we are meeting over zoom, it is very important to dress for success
! It gives scouters a good first impression (aim to dress for business casual).
Want to look into more of what college fairs offer? You can find more information on the NACAC website as well as any other articles on Fastweb. Lastly, remember to mark the dates down on your calendar and that you have the right time; you might live in a different time zone. If it so happens that you can’t attend the NACAC college fair, don’t fret. NACAC isn’t the only website that holds college fairs—there are plenty more to attend.