2 Answers

Jennifer L. Severini-Kresock Points0
I believe that students can get a good start to their college search by attending local college fairs which are usually smaller (in terms of attendees and college reps) than the national college fairs. It would be good for first time student and parent attendees to be able to ask questions and attend workshops in this setting before venturing to a fair in a larger venue. As always, it is necessary for the students to get a list of the schools that will be at the fair and for the students to prepare some really good questions (not obvious things from the institution's website).
Jon Semcer Points0
College fairs are a great way to make contact with schools that you might be interested in. Here are 8 points to remember:

1. Not all college fairs, especially those held in the evening, are staffed by admission personnel. Often you will find part-time reps who represent the college, but do not work directly in admissions. For highly selective schools, alumni will man the table ( if the school even decides to attend).

2. To save time, use the reply card found in the national publication School Guide. Guidance Departments get them for free. Instead of filling out an information card over and over just hand the rep the information/reply card you filled out ahead of time.

3. Be sure to get the business card from each admission rep you talk with and ask them if they cover your high school ( area rep ). This is the first step in building a relationship with the person who will read your application/ essays/ letters of recommendations. Send them a quick email telling them it was pleasure talking with them. By the way, if you have an inappropriate email address or a cell phone greeting that is inappropriate, change it now. I know reps who will not call students who have inappropriate phone greetings.

4. Have an idea of what type of school you want --- big , small, urban, suburban, in state, out of state. Look at the list of schools that will be attending and do some homework on the schools that catch your eye.

5. Bring mom and dad along because they may have questions too.

6. Be sure to bring a plastic bag with you (if the organizers of the fair do not provide you with one) to carry the materials you will collect.

7. Most fairs provide a floor map showing where schools are located - take a few minutes and plot out your route around the fair

8. Have 2 - 3 well thought out questions -- remember they are other students/ parents waiting behind you to ask their questions. Be to the point and brief . For example, if you are interested in law school and want to major in political science you may want to know the number of students who took the LSAT and what  the average score was. I hope these suggestions help you. Best wishes for a great year.

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