Whether you’re in 11th or 12th grade, you should attend a College Fair or a mini-fair called an Educational Planning Program (EPP). College fairs and EPPs are great opportunities for you to interact with a variety of schools and ask about all things college, including admission and scholarships.  College fairs usually have the following types of entities in attendance:

  • Four-year public colleges/universities
  • Four-year private colleges/universities
  • Two-year community colleges
  • Trade schools, Tech schools, Vocational schools
  • The Military

In order to maximize your experience at a college fair, and based on many years of planning and attending these events, here are my five insider tips for attending a college fair:

  1. Create a short-list of schools to visit with before you arrive. Time may be limited, and some schools may be more popular than others, so go into the event with at least two or three colleges you for sure want to talk with. Click here for a list of registered colleges for the fall 2019 fairs.
  1. Create your barcode! Barcodes are a time saver. Create your online account at NebraskaCollegeFairs.org, print your barcode or save it to your smartphone, and bring it with you to the fair. There, the college reps will simply scan your barcode and then be free to converse with you. Trust me; your time is better spent asking questions that are important to you, instead of hurrying to scribble out your name and address on a card at every single table you visit.
  1. Think about questions that are important to you. Be honest with yourself; what programs of study interest you? Is the cost of that college a concern, and if so, what kinds of scholarships or perspective does the college rep have for you? Also, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions; the college reps are happy to inform you about their school, and they look forward to engaging in conversation with you. Click here for a list of questions to get you thinking:
  1. Make it fun! Invite a few close friends or family members to go with you to the College Fair. Afterwards, plan for a get together over a meal or an ice cream so everyone can talk about what they learned at the fair. In my experience, these types of conversations usually help you narrow down what colleges you want to set up a Campus Visit with, and also apply for admission to, in the near future.
  1. Stop by the EducationQuest booth. Pick up some of our free college planning materials. Find out when we will be visiting your high school. EducationQuest is always happy to talk with you about your college journey, including applying for scholarships and financial aid. Best of all, our services are FREE!

For a complete calendar of College Fairs, EPPs, and Financial Aid events, visit EducationQuest.org.