My bet is that a college visit may have been on your summer to-do list, or any to-do list for that matter. But summer passes by so fast, and so does each year of high school as you get closer to graduation.
College fairs are a great way not to have to travel too far but yet get the opportunity to speak to admissions representatives from several different schools. Does it give you the look and feel of the campus? No, of course not, but an introductory conversation may lead to prioritizing a college visit in the near future or taking a college off the list that you thought you had an interest in. After getting to know just a little more about your options that may be a good fit at the college fair, schedule a visit for an upcoming holiday weekend this fall, winter break, spring break, or any weekend or weekday in between.
This is usually a small commitment of your time but well worth it, as choosing the right college for you is vital to your higher education success.
Did you know that most high schools consider a college visit an excused absence? But always check first with your guidance office because there may be some information you need to provide in advance to be approved by your high school if, in fact, this is an option for you.
How do you know where the college fairs are?
- Your High School Guidance Office. Most likely, your guidance office will have a list of college fairs being offered in the local area.
- The Internet. Search “College Fairs Near Me 2023”
- RISLA’s College Planning Center hosts a college fair annually, and there is still time to register. This year, the fair is being held on Tuesday, September 19th, at the Warwick Mall, from 6 PM to 8 PM. FREE REGISTRATION
How to make the most of your time at a college fair.
- Review in advance the schools that will be attending.
- Take a list of target schools that include some of the things you may be interested in for your college experience: city or rural campus; number of students under 5,000 over 10,000; distance from home, accessible easily by car or requires a flight; your desired major and more.
- Bring name and address stickers with you if you want additional information from any of the schools you speak with. Saves time filling out forms and sign-up sheets.
- Prepare a list of questions; if you can’t think of any, we have provided a list to get you started.
- What is the acceptance rate of incoming freshmen applications?
- Are you a test optional school? If test is optional, do you have requirements in addition to what is included in the Common APP?
- What is the range of your average merit aid package?
- How does it work for students who don’t declare a major upon acceptance?
- Do you offer study abroad?
- Are internships required and/or offered?
- What types of services are offered for students needing assistance/tutoring?
- What is the percentage of classes taught by Professors versus Teaching Assistants?
- Do you have a (3 + 1) or (4 + 1) program to receive an advanced degree at your school?
- How does your school help graduates secure employment?
One more thing….attending college fairs as an underclassman (freshman or sophomore) is not too early!