College fairs are a great way to learn about lots of different schools, get answers to your most pressing questions and meet admissions counselors. Even though most fairs can’t be held in person like normal this year, they are still happening virtually!
If you’re planning to attend a fair or two online soon, there are steps you can take to make the most of your time there. Here’s a few tips for getting the most out of our your virtual college fair experience.
1. Invite your parents.
One of the benefits of a virtual fair is the flexibility it offers. Your parents might not have been able to attend an in-person event, but they may be able to join you when it’s online. See if they’re available to log in with you — you never know what great questions they might have that you hadn’t thought to ask!
2. Make sure you’re familiar with the platform.
There are lots of services out there for hosting virtual events. Be sure to try out the platform at least 30 minutes before the fair starts in order to give yourself time to download any necessary software, install updates or work out technical glitches that may come up.
3. If using video, put your best foot forward.
While a messy room and disheveled hair won’t get you denied in the college admissions process, it’s a good idea to think about how you present yourself on camera if you’re using video (which we encourage). Clean up the area of your space that will appear on camera, or consider using a virtual background. Make sure your room is well lit, comb your hair, put on a nice shirt — and don’t forget to smile!
4. Prepare a list of questions.
College fairs provide an excellent opportunity to find out whether a specific school would be a good fit for you. Before you go, ask yourself: What’s important to me in choosing a school? What information do I need to make the best decision? Thinking about your priorities and questions in advance will help you have productive conversations with counselors. And remember — they are there for you, so don’t be afraid to ask!
5. Listen in, even if you can’t participate.
Most virtual platforms allow you to call in to a meeting on your phone, so even if you can’t devote your full attention to the fair, you can still listen in for some useful information!
6. Keep your audio muted unless you’re asking a question.
When you log on to a virtual fair, the first thing to do is mute yourself. Background noise makes it hard for other attendees to hear the person who’s speaking, and it can be distracting for the speaker as well.
7. Ask for a copy of the presentation.
When a presentation is over, ask for the representative to email you a copy. This shows your interest in the school, gives you easy access to the counselor’s contact information and frees you up to engage in the fair instead of having to take notes.
8. Watch the clock.
If there are multiple schools participating in the college fair, give yourself enough time to talk to all of the ones you might be interested in. Admissions representatives probably won’t remind you to talk to other schools, so don’t feel bad ending a conversation when you need to move on to the next “room.” You will be responsible for setting a pace that allows you to explore all of your options during the event!
9. Keep an open mind.
You may go into a fair with a clear idea of which school you’re most interested in, but try to keep an open mind. Consider exploring various options instead of spending all of your time with a single admissions counselor. Chat with different types of schools (public, private, small, large, in-state, out-of-state, etc.). Exposing yourself to as much information as possible will help ensure the school you pick in the end is the best fit.
We hope to see you at a virtual fair soon!
Questions? Feel free to contact the Office of Admission at email@example.com or 314-889-1400.