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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tis the Season for College Fairs

As sure as the daffodils poke up from the ground each spring, college admissions officers begin to turn their attention to the next batch of prospective college students. Current high school juniors and sophomores should take advantage of college fairs to learn more about different colleges and their programs. Here are a few tips to make the most of a college fair:

  • find out in advance which colleges will be attending. Walking into a gymnasium filled with tables can be overwhelming without a plan. Target those colleges you want to know more about first, and then do a walk-through to learn about colleges that might not yet be on your radar screen.
  • Organize some questions in advance. You may want to ask the representative about the academic and social atmosphere, which types of students do best at the college and if any new programs are being added in the next few years.
  • Remember your manners. Shake hands, make eye contact, say please and thank you. This may be the very person who will hold your application in a few months. Don't make an unfavorable impression.
  • If you have continued interest in any of the colleges, follow up with a brief email to the admissions counselor you met. A simple "it was nice to meet you" and perhaps a follow-up question or two, will show your interest in the college.
Take advantage of college fairs in the area as a way to jump-start your search or to narrow down your choices. This is time well invested in the search for a right-fit college.