College Fairs are a great place for students to gather information from and make connections with representatives from multiple schools in a short amount of time, and in one convenient location.
If your child is just beginning this process, he or she can take the time to stop at numerous tables/booths, obtain literature, maybe ask a few questions, and be added to the mailing list.
If your child has already decided to apply to a particular school, he or she should still visit the school's representatives for several reasons:
- It is yet another opportunity for contact and to demonstrate interest in the school
- The student may have additional specific questions about a particular program or aspect of school
- The student may learn about additional opportunities or scholarships
Don't simply "follow the herd" and visit only those well-known schools. Strike up a conversation at the table where you know very little about the school, and you never know what may happen!
Regardless of the reason for stopping at a particular table, a few rules should be remembered:
- The student should be asking the questions and otherwise communicating with the representative. The parent can accompany the student, but should refrain from taking control of the conversation.
- The student should not ask a fact-based question that is quite obvious from the school's website -- such as "what is the average SAT score required for admission?"
- Don't be afraid to ask about specialized opportunities, creative internships -- remember the school is also trying to sell itself to you at this time.
- Save time by preparing a sheet of labels ahead of time. These labels should include your name, address, phone number, email address**, school name (spelled out), year of graduation, possible major/area of study. This way you can just peel and apply the label to the informational postcard.
- Some fairs allow for advance registration, whereby your individual barcode will provide all the information immediately described above and can be scanned by the representative.
Here is a template you can use for a standard sheet of labels, 30 per page.
**Please be sure that by this time the student has a "professional" or "mature sounding" email address. Perhaps "FirstnameLastNameYear@emailprovider". While a fun name can still be used while emailing with friends and family, you really don't want to be sending/receiving college admissions materials from "fungirlzxoxo" or "bigpartyboi" (with apologies to anyone who actually uses these names)