Is A College Fair Worth Your Time?
There are plenty of college fairs to choose from, but the real question is whether or not you should bother attending. There are a few pros and cons involved in attending a college fair that we will explore in this article.
You’ve taken SAT practice tests online; you’ve done your test prep tutoring sessions and maybe even investigated at length how to find scholarships and private loans for college. If you haven’t yet even thought about going to a college fair, now is definitely the time to do so!
College fairs present a few advantages. One advantage is that college fairs allow you to meet representatives from a range of institutions. It is important that you keep in mind that colleges are big business, and there is more than a little competition. As a result, you should expect that college and university representatives are most definitely putting their best foot forward.
Since you are able to meet with people from different universities and colleges, you have an opportunity to learn much. A good deal of the information that these college and university representatives will give you will come in the form of what they choose to emphasize. For example, are you hearing a good deal about how well respected the institution is? Or are you hearing about how much fun and what great facilities they have built?
A college fair is a unique opportunity to ask questions and at the top of your list should be, “How do you help your graduates get jobs after they graduate?” and “What is your success rate for placing students who come to you seeking help?” The odds are excellent that you won’t get a lot of detail in the answers. Instead you might get an earful about how great the new workout center or stadium is!
While the answers may vary, these are the kind of factors that you will want to keep in mind. After all, you want to know that a given university or college will support you once you have given them tens of thousands of dollars as student. Support should be seen as a key part of a university or college’s commitment to its students. Failure to show this support or to have their representatives well prepped on the question will tell you a great deal.
College fairs in a variety of ways allow you to get some insight into what a college or university will be like. What representatives choose to emphasize gives you insight into the “soul” of a given institution. Further, if your questions seem to stump representatives that is also a quite insightful. After all, shouldn’t a university or college want to impress you? Shouldn’t they want their representatives to be knowledgeable and informed?
So much information regarding colleges is available online and in books. Thus the real, tangible value of attending a college fair is to gain insight into the culture of the institution itself. What kind of representatives did they send out? Did they send out knowledgeable representatives ready to answer your questions or “cute” and “attractive” eye-candy ready to give you a speech on how fun, fun, fun a university or college is to attend?
If a institution isn’t focused on showing you how your considerable investment will help you with your career and future, move on. Keep in mind that virtually every university and college has a “party scene” if that is what you are looking for from the college experience.