College Fair Navigation Guide

At some point this fall, most high schools will host a college fair, where they invite representatives from various universities and colleges to provide you with information. This is a time where you can have candid conversations with the representatives from the intuitions you are interested in. Feel free to ask anything that you need to know, there is no such thing as a bad question. The goal is for you to get a greater understanding about the atmosphere and opportunities these institutions provide.

College Fair Etiquette
College fairs can have anywhere between 5 schools and 100 schools present along with students and parents. This usually makes for a noisy environment. It’s important that you are respectful of the others around you. Wait your turn in line; cutting the line is not going to make the best impression. When you approach the representative, be kind and introduce yourself. Don’t be shy! The representatives are very happy to be at your school and they want to help.

College Fair Preparation
In order to be best prepared for the fair, I would advise that you make a list of questions ahead of time. Additionally, I would encourage you to make a list of everything you are looking for in a school. In case you are wondering what sorts of questions to ask, below are some good questions to consider adding to your list.

Where is the school located?
Does the institution have your major?
What’s the graduation rate?
What’s the retention rate?
What types of academic and social resources do you have to assist your students?

How can I be best considered for an institutional scholarship?
Are there residence halls available?
What sort of activities do you have for students?
What forms of recreation do you have?
How diverse is your school?
How large are the classes?
Are there any campus visit options?

Be Patient
Some college fairs are very busy and you might have to wait in line to speak to a representative. Once it’s your turn, feel free to ask as much as you want. Don’t feel pressured by the people standing behind you in line. Take the time to ask what you need to ask and process the responses you were given. Bring a notepad to take down information if you think it would be helpful.

College fairs are important because they are a great opportunity to learn more about your potential future intuitions. You should prioritize attending as many as you can. The more institutions you speak with, the better informed you will be. After meeting with representatives, you should be able to start narrowing down which institutions are potentially a good fit for you. After you narrow about 8-10 schools of interest down, then you should go visit as many as possible to see if the if they are truly a good fit. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please comment below.





Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and graduated from Kenwood Academy High School. I hold a bachelor’s degree from Illinois in Urban Planning. I work in the Chicago Satellite Office, where I assist and recruit students who are interested in attending Illinois.