Get the Most Out of High School College Fairs

By Rhonda Campbell

Each year high schools around the country host college fairs. Some schools may mandate that students in upper grades attend the fairs to register for upcoming high school classes. Additionally, hosting college fairs is a good way to get students thinking about what they want to do for a career. It’s also a good way for high schools to propel students to do more than just think and talk about enrolling in college.

High School Hosted College Fairs
Walk inside a high school cafeteria near the close of the school year and you might see rows of tables or booths lined up, one after the other. Pamphlets and brochures, providing facts and information on area accredited colleges and universities are often stacked atop the tables. Behind the tables stand smiling college and university representatives, people who can answer high school students’ admissions, tuition assistance, college demographic and course major questions.

Although it can be tempting to hang out with friends, grab a few college brochures and leave, to get the most out of  a high school hosted college fair, students are encouraged to:

• Speak with at least five college or university representatives, asking them specific questions about their postsecondary schools, questions for which answers aren’t listed in brochures and other handouts
• Focus on accredited colleges and universities that are respected for offering degrees in subjects (e.g. engineering, law, education) they want to work at after they graduate from high school and college

• Check the college’s accreditations
• Confirm that the postsecondary schools offer extracurricular activities they’re interested in. For example, a student who wants to major in creative writing may want to confirm that her top college and university choices have literary journals, magazines and/or newspapers she can work on
• Check to see that the schools are centrally located and close to major transportation lines (e.g. buses, trains), restaurants, shopping centers, etc.

Often it’s not until they become adults with children of their own that people realize just how quickly time passes. Before they know it, they feel as if their chance to go to college and earn undergraduate and graduate degrees has slipped away.

Although adults can attend college at any age, due to generally having fewer family obligations and responsibilities when they are younger, they may find it easier to attend college as soon as they graduate from high school. Considering this, high school college fairs are great events to attend to ensure high school students connect with college administrators and get and stay focused on advancing their education.

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