COLLEGE FAIRS : My Advice
As an Admissions Counselor*, I represent High Point University at numerous college fairs throughout the country during the fall. I talk to hundreds of great high school students who have fallen in love with this university just like I have, and they want to be admitted, badly.
I find, however, that many students come to college fairs unprepared. So as your guide through the Admissions World, I feel it is my responsibility and honor to give you a few helpful pointers for navigating the world of College Fairs, because you’d be surprised how often I’ve seen the t-shirt that reads: “I’m not lazy, I just don’t care” and that attitude won’t get you admitted anywhere. So, here are my top five tips to impress your Admissions Counselor that will help move you along the path to acceptance.
1. Dress up. The t-shirt I mentioned above is horrendous. But any t-shirt when you’re trying to impress the person who decides if you get into college is a bad idea. You don’t have to wear a full suit (though it certainly wouldn’t hurt), but you do want to make an impression, and looking sharp is the easiest way to make it a good one.
2. Greet the Admissions Counselor by looking him or her in the eyes and saying “hello”. Counselors typically open with something like: “Hey, how are you doing?” Students typically mumble “good” as they look down at the table. (Parents can be just as guilty of this poor behavior as well!) So if you want to stand out? Look me in the eye, shake my hand, and answer: “I’m very well, thank you. How are you?”
3. Have a few questions prepared. After greeting a potential student, I usually ask if there are any specific questions I can answer for him or her. Please do your best to have a question in response, rather than an “Ummm, I don’t really know…” Your high school’s college counselors should be helping you with this anyway. If not, ask them for help! You can even use the same questions for all the college reps you speak with; things like: Does your school offer ______ major? How many undergraduate students does your school have? What is the faculty-to-student ratio? What makes your school different?
4. Write legibly on the inquiry cards or make labels. Almost all schools ask for your name, address, email, phone number, high school, graduation year, and intended major(s). If you print this information on mailing labels, you can just slap it on our inquiry cards and we’ll be less likely to send info to the wrong address and your hand won’t be aching by the time you leave the fair. Everybody wins! If you can’t make labels, just try really, really hard to write neatly.
5. Say “Thank you.” Everybody loves a polite high school student. (Especially Admissions Counselors who have been standing behind tables in suits six hours a day, five days a week, September through November, all to tell you about the schools they love.) So thank the Admissions Counselors who are there to speak with you, thank your parents for caring that you go to college, and thank the guidance counselors and parents who put the college fair together because, trust me, it’s a lot of work!
For success at College Fairs, take the advice of Ron Burgundy and
“You stay classy.”
*To find out which High Point University Admissions Counselor you need to impress, visit our interactive map!