Today we are going to talk about college fairs and what you should and shouldn’t do at these little shindigs.
Number one, be prepared to ask questions.
A bad question would be:
Tell me about your college…
What kind of food do you guys have in the cafeteria?
Can I take a pamphlet?
Do you guys have biology as a major?
Are the dorms like really nice?
What state is this school in?
Some good questions would be:
I was wondering what kind of opportunities there are for interdisciplinary majors?
Is it easy for kids to get involved and come up with new ideas for clubs and activities on campus?
You don’t need to go overboard and get super overdressed for these events. Just be yourself and wear everyday smart casual clothes.
If there is a sign-in sheet, make sure you put down your name and contact information, because the schools are going to use this as a way to measure your demonstrated interest in the school.
Please don’t bring gifts for the admissions representatives. It’s just weird.
A great question to ask is if and when they are going to be on your high school campus. Most representatives visit local high schools during the fall semester. This is a great opportunity to get to know them and ask them questions in a smaller, less intimidating setting.
Also, don’t talk to much, i.e.:
Hi! My name is Skylar! I am from Houston, Texas. I am a junior in high schools right not, but I have already been to your campus five times already. I am rally interested in community service. I have a cop of my resume if you want to look over my resume, or I can email you my resume. I am really excited about your campus.
Don’t just visit the tables for the schools you know you are already interested in. Visit some schools that you have never heard of, pick up some pamphlets, ask some questions. You might find a school that you have never heard of but is the perfect fit for you.
If there are lots of kids waiting around a table to talk to the admissions rep, just come back later. You don’t need to linger, because lingering can be kind of creepy. Don’t elbow your way in there, push people aside, build your little fort on top of their table, and stay there all afternoon, bugging them and asking them questions.
It’s also really important that you get the contact information of the admissions rep, because chance are that they are your regional representative and they are going to be the one reading your application. You want to be able to follow up with them if you have any questions after the college fair.
If you want to make an impact, give them a piece of information about yourself that is unique to you and will help them remember who you are. Then remind them in a follow up email that you were that weird kid who can play the trombone with his toes.
Once the college fair is over, it is time to go home. Don’t chase the rep down and follow them into the parking lot and bug them while they are taking down their table. They are exhausted; they have been there all day bombarded with questions. If you missed your opportunity, find other college fairs that might be in your area or visit them when you are on campus for a tour or info session.