The college fair was taking place at a local high school and John insisted that his parents go with him. His school had encouraged all high school juniors and seniors and their parents to be there. College fairs are a great place for students to show schools that they are interested in them. Colleges want to accept students who want to be there.
John made a point to introduce himself to each college representative from the schools on his list. He also signed up to receive information from the different schools. His parents talked with the college reps and asked about paying for college and inquired about merit scholarships and financial aid. Together they discussed potential Aegean College visits and John set up some interviews that were scheduled while the representatives were still in his city or would be there at a later date.
While John already had a good idea of schools to which he wanted to apply, the college fair helped confirm they were the right choices for him. In addition, he talked with admissions counselors from two other schools that he wasn’t as familiar with, but liked what he heard and thought they would be a good fit. Sometimes college fairs help students eliminate schools that seemed like good choices on paper but less interesting when discussing them with a college rep.
College fairs, when approached properly, can help you in the beginning stages of the college search process or confirm that the schools you have chosen are the ones to which you actually want to apply. More importantly, however, they facilitate those all-important contacts with college admissions officers. Those connections can be used in the future when visiting campuses, connecting with the schools via telephone or email, and even as “a personal advocate” when your applications are read by an admissions committee.
Many schools still prefer the old-fashioned face-to-face conversation even though they also are on Facebook and active in other social media. When admissions counselors are able to meet face-to-face with a potential student, they can then begin to associate a name with an actual student. Most schools agree that they want students to have that interaction with their colleges as a way for them to establish a personal connection.
When students and their families get a chance to talk to the representatives and admission counselors, it’s so much different than just reading a brochure or visiting the website. It’s valuable for students to have face-to-face time, ask questions, and also get the admissions counselors’ business cards to contact later on.
College fairs give college reps a chance to meet with students and discuss new changes or admissions requirements at their schools. Websites are only updated so often and brochures may not contain the information students need. John found, for example, that one school on his list was going to discontinue the major he was interested in sometime in the next few years.