Gathering Information About Potential Colleges, As A High School Student, Is A Step In The Right Direction… Stride Success Coaches Offer Their Best Tips!
College fairs serve a dual purpose. The events can help students learn more about the schools they are considering after high school graduation, and they also help college representatives find students who are a good match for the focus areas of their institutions.
College fairs also vary in size, and high school students will want to scout out upcoming events that are being hosted either online, or in their own local area. The events will range in size from just a handful of institutions in attendance to hundreds of colleges. It’s also never too early to attend a college fair, if you find yourself interested, or even just curious. Some families will attend as early as middle school, but generally starting in 9th or 10th grade is a good option, for most students.
If you are looking forward to attending a college fair, in the not too distant future, then be sure to check out the advice below, as Stride Success Coaches offer their best tips for high school students attending these important events…
College Fair Advice For High School Students From Stride Success Coach, Tyng Kam:
“Attending a college fair is a great way to learn more about any colleges that you are interested in possibly attending. You will want to speak to admission representatives from your targeted list of schools, to get a sense of student life on campus, program design, financial aid, career services, and alumni networks. Usually, these conversations will help you to decide which schools feel right for you. In addition, college fairs are the best chance to get firsthand information about what the admission team is looking for, if you are targeting highly selective schools. You can get advice on how to craft your high school career, as well, to make yourself one of the most desirable candidates for their program. You will not have time to speak to all of the college admission representatives, so you will definitely want to be targeted. Go through the list of college attendees and identify schools you want to speak with ahead of time. Then, prepare the key questions you want to ask. If you feel nervous about attending the fair on your own, be sure to invite a family member or a friend, and have them go to the fair with you.”
College Fair Advice For High School Students From Stride Success Coach, Darius Harris, CCMC, CSC, CPRW, HAB:
“Attending a college fair can be very beneficial, and it is a great opportunity to get information about the colleges that are represented. The representatives can answer specific questions about academics, campus life, or financial aid. When talking to high school students, I usually offer a few tips for making the fair a success. First, be sure to research the colleges that will be in attendance, and target the ones in which you have the most interest. Once a target list is prepared, visit those booths first. If there is still time left over afterwards, then you have the option to speak to the other schools. Dress professionally, so everyone knows you are taking the experience seriously, and try not to wear any gear from particular colleges, as this can give the impression that other schools are a second choice. Take a resume that outlines your high school experiences, too, as this can set a student apart from other attendees. I also advise students, if possible, to get some contact labels created that display basic contact info and easily stick-on to the sign-up sheets most colleges use. This helpful tip saves quite a bit of time, so that you don’t have to repeatedly complete writing down all of your information. Lastly, be sure to arrive early, to speak with representatives while they are full of energy, and not tired from speaking to so many people during the day. And, don’t forget to ask for contact information from the college representatives, for follow-up purposes.”
College Fair Advice For High School Students From Stride Success Coach, Courtney White, CPRW:
“My best college fair advice is to arrive prepared! Know in advance what colleges plan to attend the fair, and keep in mind, or make a list of, which colleges are your top choices. Spend some time on the colleges’ websites, checking out what they have to offer, and what things you may be curious about and need to learn more. Doing this research up front will allow you to ask questions that are specific to your interests and needs. You may want to know things such as how your GPA and/or SAT scores compare with other students admitted to the college, or what internship opportunities are available within your intended course of study. Try to devise a list of your most pressing questions, to present to your schools of choice, and take notes on their answers, so that you can best formulate your final decision later.”
Attending your first college fair, as a high school student, can be a mixture of both excitement and apprehension, but if you prepare for the experience, and go into it with an open mind, it can greatly enhance your ability to make an educated decision about your path after high school graduation.
To learn even more from our Stride Success Coaches, be sure to read the Finding Your Path article, for additional career prep advice.
And, check out the article on How To Make The Most Out Of A Virtual Career Fair, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and how it prepares them for life after high school through career exploration or college readiness, visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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