I recently attended a College Fair where I represented my Alma Mater, Tufts University. The fair was sponsored by 4 highly selective high schools in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. One of these four schools hosted the event.
About 200 colleges and universities from all over the country participated in this fair. The event was very well organized with tables and chairs for each institution set up in an alphabetical order, placed in easily accessible areas. The event was held in early October in the evening for 2 hours. College names covered every letter of the alphabet with the exception of the letters, “Y and Z”. Representatives from Adrian College to Xavier University adorned their tables with brochures, banners and all kinds of promotional material. It was an impressive display for students and parents trying to make one of their most important decisions in life.
Parents and students from many area schools attended the fair. Although, the majority of the students were Juniors and Seniors, there were also many Sophomores and Freshmen. The October timing was especially useful because it gave enough time to the seniors to get their act together and apply in time to meet the application deadline. The fair gave them the opportunity to meet college reps face to face and ask all kinds of questions.
Most students stopped by the booths, picked up some brochures and asked a few general type questions. However, you also find some students that were very well prepared and they asked some very probing questions, like, costs, life on campus, sports, what major to pursue, admission acceptance criteria, cafeteria food and why you think they should apply to your college. Some students were already familiar with their college choices while others were learning about new and exciting possibilities that they have not considered before.
If you have the opportunity to attend a college fair, I recommend you do it. The earlier you start thinking about college the more prepared you will be when it comes time for you to apply. Remember, colleges look at your entire 4 years of High School record. Your academic standing and extra-curricular activities from your Freshman to your Senior year, all count and you can benefit the most if you start with your college research early!