College Fair Update for 2021


Applying to college is a big step for any teen or young adult. They are taking the first steps towards their independence. Even if your teen is sure about their future career, choosing the right college can make all the difference in the world. One way to make that choice simpler may be to interact with several colleges at a college fair. For some students, college fairs might be a bit overwhelming this is why it’s helpful to set up a game plan for which schools you plan to visit with. Because of the pandemic the in person college fairs have been postponed. However, a few virtual events are coming up in the spring that might interest students and their families. All high school students who are rising juniors

Virtual College Fairs

The fairs are organized by the National Association of College Admissions Counseling. (NACAC) 

  • March 16: NACAC Performing Arts/Visual Fair – check out recorded sessions as well. 
  • March 21: NACAC National Fair with more than 600 colleges participating.
  • April 10: Western College Fair
  • May 2: NACAC National College Fair 

How Do They Work?

Each of the virtual fairs listed above has similar formats. You can access the colleges by reviewing the recorded videos that are posted from each college.  You can also sign up for times to meet virtually with a counselor to gather more information about your choices. These sessions are designed to help you learn more about each school. Virtual fairs are a fantastic way to see multiple schools in one day and there is no driving or parking involved. No lines at the booths either. 

What Should I ask?

Speaking to an admissions officer can feel intimidating if you don’t know what to ask. You will want to ask the same questions at each school so that you can make accurate comparisons.  You should be able to narrow the field to a few promising options. The following are just some of the guidelines and questions to keep in mind.  We will break them down by category.

Academics

  • What are your core educational requirements needed to graduate?
  • Most popular majors and minors…
  • Average GPA for admitted students  
  • Can I double major or minor?
  • Can freshmen get involved with scientific research?
  • Am I applying to the school or a specific major?
  • Are there certain majors that are more competitive than others?

Campus Life

  • What do students do on the weekend?
  • Is there anything unique about your campus?
  • What is available nearby the campus, restaurants, shops, beaches? Ski trips?
  • Most popular clubs and campus activities for students?
  • Club or intramural sports? Swimming, fitness?
  • Dance classes and clubs. 
  • Theatre performances on campus.
  • Sporting events.

Housing

  • Dorm options for freshman? Do all freshman live together in a separate dorm building? 
  • Honors dorms and Living communities ? 
  • Single rooms with private bathrooms for freshman? 
  • How will I get matched up with a roommate ? 
  • What are off-campus options?
  • If I live on-campus, can I have a vehicle my freshman year? Is there a fee involved? 
  • What are parking options for students who live on-campus?
  • What are parking options for off-campus students?
  • What are meal options for on-campus/ off-campus students?

Extra-Curriculars

  • Greek Life on campus or off campus? 
  • What sports are available? Can we try out, or are the positions scouted?
  • Are there other competitive options, such as academic teams?
  • What honor’s society options are there?
  • Are there any study abroad options? When do they begin?
  • There are dozens more questions you may choose to ask. These questions are only designed to get you started. 

Enjoy the fairs and take notes!  Remember to get the names of the admissions personnel and send them a thank you note for hosting the event.