High school is back in session for most of Michigan, which means college fairs are right around the corner. For those of you not familiar with this phenomenon, it is an event where you can go and check out many colleges and universities at once, in one place.
College fairs are a great way to make connections, gather information, find out about scholarships, and research possible areas of study. Even if you are pretty sure you know where you want to go--it's still a great opportunity to find out more! You will get a chance to talk with representatives from each college and ask questions.
This is why it is important to approach college fairs like you would an interview. You want to make a good impression and show that you are serious about what you choose to do with your life after high school.
Here are some tips on how to make the most out of College Fairs
Prepare for college fairs as you would a casual interview. You don't have to wear a 3 piece suite or formal dress, but you shouldn't look like you just woke up or left the gym either. You want to make a good impression.
Get the Lay of the Land
Find out what schools will be there ahead of time and make a list of the ones you are most interested in. If a map of the fair is provided, highlighting the schools you want to check out and make a game plan for navigating the booths. It will probably be busy and crowded, so anything you can do to make sure you connect with your target schools will be helpful.
Create a List of Questions
Representatives from each school will be there and most likely at least one person from each school's admissions department. It is really important to understand each school's admission process, so be prepared.
Here are examples of some questions you might want to ask:
- Do students typically graduate in four years or less?
- What's the graduation rate?
- What qualities do you look for in applicants?
- What is your application process like?
- Who teaches the bulk of the courses — professors or graduate students?
- What sorts of internship and study abroad opportunities do students have?
- What is the average class size at the school?
- What's the employment rate for recent graduates?
- Does your school have online classes?
- What types of scholarships do you offer?
Bring your list of questions and a notebook to organize your notes and a way to capture the answers you discover.
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Create a Follow-up Plan
Be sure to get business cards and literature for the colleges you want to check out further. A good habit is to write a follow-up email to the college representatives to whom you spoke, thanking them for their time. Include any additional questions you have and possibly schedule a campus tour.
Create a professional email account that you only use for college admissions tasks. That way you can organized everything for choosing a college, applying, scholarships, research, etc. in one place. We recommend your name or a variation of it. For example:
You get the idea.
Make a Good Impression
In addition to dressing appropriately and being organized, follow all the other standard rules for making a good impression.
- Stand straight
- Look people in the eye
- Provide a firm handshake
- Listen attentively
Give the reps a good reason to remember you.
Keep an Open Mind
College fairs are a great way to find out about schools you may not have even heard of. Spend time at each booth and engage in meaningful conversations. Explore different size schools, both public and private. You want to explore as many possibilities as you can before making a decision--it is an important one.
We can’t wait to hear from you!
If you are interested in finding out more about GLCC or to schedule a tour there are several ways to contact our Admissions Department.
Call our toll free number: 1-800-YES-GLCC
Text this number with your question and one of our admission counselors will be glad to respond, 517-292-4522.