It can be nerving-wracking approaching your dream school (or any prospective school for that matter!) But with these tips, you can build the confidence to be a stand out at your next college fair.
When your high school offers you the chance to attend a college fair, don’t pass it up! The room of tables, banners and college representatives can be overwhelming, so it’s helpful to prepare yourself beforehand. These questions can help you form an idea of what you’re looking for, which can relieve some pressure and help narrow your search.
When it comes to approaching the schools you’re interested in, don’t feel anxious about impressing them. Just be yourself and come prepared. Remember, this is also your turn to interview the school to see if they’re a fit for you.
Want to stand out? While speaking with a school, throw in some well thought out questions, says Megan Sarkis, admissions advisor at The College at Brockport, SUNY (www.brockport.edu).
“I would say the most commonly asked questions by students at college fairs include: ‘What do I need on my SATs/high school average to be accepted at your school? Do you offer a major in ______?, Can freshmen have cars? What are you known for?’ ” Sarkis says. “People are just scratching the surface with those questions and not really learning about what makes our school unique and trying to find out if it’s a good fit for them.”
While you shouldn’t avoid asking a school some fundamental questions you’re wondering, try digging deeper. “A student can stand out at a college fair by asking more specific questions e.g.: ‘What is there to do outside of the classroom?’ ‘What safety measures are put in place?’ … ‘What is a typical campus visit like?’ ” says Sarkis.
“We always love when a student shows demonstrated interest in our school; if they mention something they have learned that is specific to (the university), they most certainly will stand out.”
Also, asking the admissions counselor how you can make your college essay distinct is a great way to gain reliable advice for when you’re writing your paper.If you have established your dream school, there are some extra tips to consider.
“If it’s your dream school, make sure the school knows it,” Sarkis explains. “Nothing makes us college reps happier at a college fair than when a student approaches us and says ‘Brockport is my No. 1 choice!’ Sometimes, they’re even sporting a Brockport shirt and we love it.”
So, come prepared to the college fair with what it is you’re looking for, or don’t be afraid to ask the questions, which will help you figure it out. Bring a note pad and pen for jotting down notes on the schools you get acquainted with; most of all, try not to let any pressures overshadow the feeling of excitement while exploring your future.
Ask yourself these questions:
• What schools do I want to know more about?
• What interests do I want my school to accommodate?
• What are my main goals at college?
• Where am I interested in living?
Marissa MacKenzie Longstreet is a freelance writer based out of Rochester, N.Y.