Like a job fair, a college fair is a collection of different colleges that have a table or booth and present information about their school. They are a great place to learn more about specific colleges you may be interested in. Typically they will have hand-outs, presentations, and representatives that can answer any questions you have about that particular institute.
With a number of schools all located in one place, chock-full of helpful information, it seems like a no-brainer that high school students should attend—but many don’t. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons you should attend a college fair during your college search process.
No Such Thing as Too Much Information
It’s pretty hard to “over prepare” when it comes to researching colleges. Even if you’ve been thorough and dedicated to the search process, more information doesn’t usually hurt. Besides, you might learn something new about the colleges you’re interested in, which may affirm your decision or change it. They’ll have official brochures or pamphlets for you, so you can use those materials later on when you’re comparing and contrasting different schools.
Talking to Real People at a College Fair
As helpful as the internet is, sometimes it’s better to talk to a real, live, genuine person. The representatives at the booth are likely faculty members that know the ins and outs of the college. Talking to these reps will be more “customization,” if you will, than just Googling questions. If you’re nervous about attending college, putting a friendly face to the school can be comforting. And though it may just be one or two people from that college you’re interacting with, it may provide a snapshot into the faculty-members on campus—are they friendly? Stiff?
So Many Colleges in One Place
Whether you’ve got a ton of colleges on your list or just a few, college fairs provide a chance to really explore a number of different schools all in one convenient spot. If you’ve got a long list of schools, here’s your chance to check them all out (granted, not every single college is represented at every single fair). If you’re not really sure where you’d like to go, this is a great chance to explore and see what’s out there. Even if you’ve narrowed your picks to the top three, you can still poke around and see what else is out there—you never know, you could discover a school you hadn’t considered before.
Alternative to the College Visit
While certainly not a replacement for the visit, it offers another method of “getting a feel for” a school. If, due to finances or time constraints, you can’t go and visit a school, a college fair is an ideal alternative. There you can talk to people who have first-hand experiences on campus, and who can answer all of your campus-visit questions.
All in All
College fairs can be a great way to solidify your choices or discover new ones. It never hurts to go and visit, even just to take a peek at what all is offered there.
Another great way to discover colleges? College Raptor! Our free match tool can give you individualized college matches, personalized net price estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid at schools around the country.