The College Fair – Go Prepared

by Z. Kelly Queijo

Taking the time to strategize how to successfully navigate a college fair without being overwhelmed only takes a few minutes. Before you head off to the fair, take time to answer the following questions:

  • College visits Is the college fair a family affair?
    Will mom and dad accompany you? Or, will you head out on your own or with friends? Decide in advance if attending with parents and whether or not you will stay together once you arrive. Keep in mind that information sessions are also offered that may appeal to either you or your parents. Allow time to attend one or more these if desired.
  • Which colleges do you already know you want to learn more about?
    Make a list so you can easily locate each school’s information table when you get there. Note which schools are “must sees” and which are “maybes” so that you’re sure to make it to the schools that interest you the most.
  • How much time will I spend at the fair?
    As long as it takes to get to every school on your list (and then some). It’s difficult to get through a college fair in under an hour, especially if you have more than three or four schools on your list. The point of attending is to get information, and the way to do so is to ask questions and talk with the college reps. Don’t just pick up brochures and walk out. Get your questions answered so you can narrow (or expand) the list of colleges that interest you. College fairs typically last at least two hours, some as many as four or five hours, depending on locale.

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College Fair Tips:

  • Print a batch of name/address labels to save time filling out information cards at each table.
  • Bring your driver’s license. Some schools have scanners that can read the contact info from your license.
  • Have a list of questions that you want to ask each college rep. If you are not sure what to ask, take a look at the NACAC Making the Most of your Visit page.
  • Click here for the National College Fair Schedule.

RELATED: Ready to book a college visit? Find a hotel near campus.

For more information about preparing for college, visit our College Admissions section. You can also explore college admissions articles here on Smart College Visit, and make plans to visit the colleges that interest you.