Tips in the Admissions Process – “Using A College Fair”

Hello ETA readers:

Well, I finally have access to a regular keyboard (and not my cell phone keyboard) and some free internet use (Thank you International School of Kuala Lumpur!) so I thought I would take advantage of this!  As  I mentioned in a previous post, during the course of my travels with the CIS Tour, we are often requested to do presentations on various topics related to the U.S. college admissions process.  One presentation that I already gave had to do with how to properly and effectively use a college fair.  Thus, for those of you who are juniors and seniors (or freshman and sophomores!), I present to you the opportunity to learn more about how to maximize your experience at a college fair!  Here are some tips:

  • Before the college fair, take a few moments to think about questions that you would like to ask.  You will want to ask college representatives questions that will address your interests and needs at a college or university.  Common questions can relate to topics like:  location, population, special programs, campus life, athletics, financial aid, etc.
  • Be sure to ask, ask, ask questions!  The more questions you ask, the more that you will learn about this process and about the school that you are interested in applying to.  Admissions representatives are at the college fair to provide you more information about their school – and 100% of representatives love to talk to people!
  • Don’t forget to tell the represenative a little bit about yourself as well!  If you are interested in a particular school and want to know more about them, be sure to fill out legibly and completely an inquiry card.  This allows the university to communicate with you in regards to more information about the school but also special opportunities such as live chat sessions or upcoming events!
  • Be a leader and not a follower.  By this, I mean to explore options that YOU are interested in and not necessarily the options of your friends.  Too often at college fairs, I will see packs of students moving from table to table together.  Travel with one or two other friends and you will really be able to ask questions about what is important to you in a college or university.
  • Last but certainly not least – don’t just grab materials off a table – this includes pens!  Please know that as admissions representatives, we want to talk to you about our schools and we can provide you with much more information beyond the brochures.  For example, if you ask me about studying abroad in Australia, I can tell you about my personal experience of studying abroad there while I was a student at Elon University.  Personal stories, anecdotes, and other connections to the university go a long way in understanding the campus culture.  So talk to me – and then you can take my pen!

I hope you found this helpful – I will be trying to provide more tips in the process as the fall progresses!

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