Planning for college can feel overwhelming. Researching different college options, costs, understanding financial aid and scholarships; wowzers!

As a College Planning Specialist, one question that commonly arises is, “Where do I even begin?”
College fair Nebraska

To me, a great starting point is to attend a local College Fair.  At a college fair, many different colleges and universities come together to interact with students and parents. Big universities, private schools, community colleges, and trade schools; the goal is to get students and parents interacting with college reps, and to learn about the different options beyond high school.

Juniors – this is a great way to kick off your college planning process!

Seniors – if you need to explore college options, now is the time!

Here are a few tips to make the most of your College Fair experience:

Register for a barcode!

Instead of writing down your contact information over and over again (hand cramps!), sign up for a barcode at That way, college reps can scan your code and instead spend time answering your questions about their school. You should print a copy of your code and bring it with you to the fair; it’ll save you time and hand cramps!

Get your name on the college’s radar

After meeting with Admissions Counselors at a fair, they can then follow-up with you on relevant, personalized topics like Admissions deadlines and Scholarship opportunities. They are happy to work with you and answer all questions you may have about their school.

Ask tons of questions

This is your opportunity to ask tons of questions regarding a particular college. Remember, you will be investing your time and money into a college; make sure it is the right fit for you. If you need some examples of questions to ask, check out this list.

Follow up with a campus visit

After meeting with college reps at the fair, you should consider scheduling an official campus visit. This would likely include a personalized tour and the opportunity to talk with professors or faculty members. Here are a few tips for scheduling a campus visit.

In conclusion, check out the nearest fair. Stop by for a few moments or stay the whole time. Ask questions. Get parents involved! And remember… the cost is FREE!