What is a college fair?
A college fair is an event where representatives from admissions gather in a large space to meet one-on-one with high school students and parents to talk about their colleges and answer questions. Representatives usually stand at tables or booths and provide handouts and brochures about the campus, academic programs, course offerings, extracurricular activities, sports, etc.
Please visit Meridianś webpage on College Fairs and Visit Opportunities for more information.
Also, in the spring of 10th grade year, Meridian will visit the TIBS College Fair in Hearst (DFW area) in April.
Before You Go
Do some initial college research and determine what you prefer in a college e.g. size, geography, majors, student housing, etc.
Pre-register for the fair and check out the list of attending colleges to map out a plan, so you can prioritize who you want to visit first.
Research two to three colleges that you have not heard of and research them online more
Dress in business casual attire or your uniform prepared with a list of questions. Come up with questions such as asking about specific programs and requirements that apply to your interests.
During the Fair
Be prepared to wait in line to talk to college representatives. Use time to review questions you want to ask.
Make a great first impression by approaching the table with a smile and introducing yourself by stating your name, grade level, and the high school you attend before asking questions. Be sure to thank them for their time and ask for a business card or brochure.
Jot down any notes after your visit that will help you remember what you liked or didnt like about the college
Attend an information session to learn more about general topics such as financial aid and the application process.
Bring home brochures, business cards, and materials from colleges you want to remember and consider.
After the Fair
Organize your materials in to Yes, No, or Maybe categories. You can write thank you letters to those schools you are really interested in thanking them for their time.
See if select universities offer summer discovery or pre-college programs as you may want to have an experience there to see if the college is a right fit for you.
Look at scholarship opportunities offered by universities you are interested in and see what things they are looking for to be eligible in the future.
Review the admission criteria to also help you set goals and make steps toward areas you want to work on.
Suggested Questions to Ask College Reps
What is the campus atmosphere like at your school?
What qualities are you looking for in your prospective students?
What standardized test scores do you require and how much are they weighted?
What do you think is really important in my preparation as a potential applicant for your college?
About how much does your university cost a year in tutition and in housing? What financial aid programs do you offer at the school?
What is the average class size?
What student services are offered (tutoring, career counseling, study workshops, learning services, writing centers, etc.) to help students be successful at your college?
What types of extracurricular options do you have on campus e.g. special interest groups, sororities/fraternities, honors programs, etc.?
What is your school most known for academically and culturally?
What are popular sports at your school? How is school spirit?
What types of housing are available for freshman? Are students required to live on campus?
Do you offer ____ major or something similar? I am really interested in _______.
How do I apply for university scholarships? Or financial aid?
What do students like most about your college? Is there anything you are aware of that they dont like?
What is the area (town, city) around the college like?
How accessible are faculty to students?
What resources are available for students with learning disabilities? What college learning services are available?
Where is the school located and how would you describe the culture of the location?
Follow Up with a Thank You Letter
When you return home, consider sending a thank you letter to the rep, especially if they spent a good amount of time answering your questions.
Dear Ms. or Mr. ___________,
Thank you again for taking the time to talk with me about ______________________(name of the college) when you were at the ________________ College Fair. I really enjoyed hearing about _________________________(say something specific that you learned from your conversation).
I am even more interested in _________________(name of college) and look forward to applying next fall. Please let me know if you ever plan to visit _________________ (name of your high school).
__________(name of your high school)
_________ (school email address)