Do you want to learn more about possible colleges?

National College Fairs are a free resource for high school student. They are an excellent opportunity for students to interact with hundreds of colleges and universities, from the US, Canada, and Europe. Because there is a wide variety of schools students can get a sense of the broad options available in their future. I have found that this experience of attending a National College Fair has two main benefits for students.

First I have found that this helps many students realize that they do not have to go to one of the five colleges that they have heard others mention. This realization can help reduce anxiety especially if students are stressed about getting into a very competitive college. I have had students describe how it was comforting to walk down row after row of college booths and know that there were so many possibilities and options.

Second– Students become more engaged with the college process. They are able to interact with many different colleges and ask questions directly to the representatives.  In addition, they are able to listen to other student inquiries and the answers they receive. This process can help students and refine their college search criteria. I have seen students start their fair experience asking basic questions, but as the day progressed their questions evolved and matured. Speaking with representatives can help students think deeply about what they want in a college and more importantly what they do not want in a college.

Because of the size of the college fair, it is essential to do some prep work. This includes looking at the list of schools that will have booths and planning your route. For younger or shy students it is crucial to practice and brainstorm questions before arriving so they can take the lead. For more tips and tricks check out this podcast.