How to Prepare for College Fairs
Attending college fairs is a good way to learn more about potential schools you are considering adding to your college list. In this post, we’ll give you a few tips on how to make the most of your time at college fairs, whether they are virtual or in-person, and provide a few questions you can ask college representatives to get the most out of the experience.
Virtual College Fair Tips
- Do some research on the schools that will be attending and make a list of the ones you are most interested in learning more about.
- Dress for success. Even though the event is virtual, you still want to make a good impression. Dressing in a suit would be over the top. Business casual would be best.
- Check all your devices. Make sure that the technology you are using is charged and your camera and microphone work.
- Have a notebook on hand to write down notes from the information provided from college representatives.
BigFuture Live Upcoming Events Online
Over the next few weeks, BigFuture® Live offers virtual community events that cover exploring careers, planning for college, and paying for college. You can meet directly with college representatives and career experts to get your questions answered. Click the event to learn more and how to register.
Fund Your Future: New York
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
7–7:45 p.m. ET
Don’t let money hold you back. Connect with New York college representatives and get your questions answered about scholarships, financial aid, and the cost of college. Learn More
Find the Career and Major for You: New York
Monday, November 21, 2022
7–7:45 p.m. ET
You’re ready to find your next step after high school. Connect with New York college reps and learn about majors and careers that are right for you. Learn More
Tips for In-Person College Fair
- Take a pen and a small notebook.
- Bring a bag to carry the brochures you pick up.
- Print out some address labels or business cards with your name, address, phone number, email address, high school, and year of graduation. Spend your time at the college tables asking questions, not filling out contact cards!
- When you arrive, check out the floor plan and find out where the tables for your top choice colleges are located so you can go directly to them.
- Write down your most important questions in advance so you don’t forget them.
- Check on whether any information sessions on topics like financial aid are being offered. Interested? Budget your time accordingly.
- Jot down notes about a college while your memory is fresh, such as right after visiting the table.
- Pick up the business cards of any representatives you talk to, so you can contact them if you have any more questions.
After the College Fairs
- Make a point of going through the materials and your notes within one week after the fair. You’ll probably remember more about your conversations with college representatives while the memories from the fair are still fresh.
- Follow up with any college that interests you by contacting the admission office to ask further questions and, if possible, plan a visit to the campus.
For more tips on how to prepare for a college fair, check out our College Fair Checklist.
Questions to Ask College Representatives
Whether you meet them at a college fair (in person or virtual) or on a campus visit, college
representatives genuinely enjoy talking to high school students and answering questions about their college. The following questions will help start a good dialogue.
- What makes your college unique?
- For what academic programs is your college known?
- How would you describe the students at your college? Where are most of them from?
- Where do students hang out on campus?
- What happens on weekends—are there things to do on campus or in town, or do most students go home?
- Are fraternities and sororities a big part of campus life?
- What are the housing options for first-year students?
- Do many students live off campus?
- Is there a sports complex or fitness center?
- What are the most popular clubs and activities?
- What’s the security like on campus?
- What’s the surrounding area like? Is it easy to get around?
- What are the most popular majors?
- How would you describe the academic pressure and workload?
- What support services (academic advisers, tutors, etc.) are available?
- Do I need to bring my own computer?
- What’s the faculty like? Are they accessible outside of class?
- Are there opportunities for internships?
- Is there job placement help for graduates?
- Are there any big changes in the works that I should know about?
For more College Planning Resources, visit bigfuture.org