Tips For Fair Attendees   

Be prepared to make the most of your visit. Many college admission representatives will be gathered in one place, just waiting to answer your questions. With so many booths, it can be confusing. You may stop at many booths collecting lots of pretty brochures. However we'd like you to collect pertinent information and get clear impressions about which colleges you may be interested in. Making the most of a college fair means planning your strategy before you enter the event.

Talking with College Representatives

Content provided by Campus Bound 

Students and parents should make a list of priorities before attending a college fair. Decide which schools you definitely want to learn more about so you can be sure to visit the places that are priorities for you. In order to make a realistic assessment and selection of a college or university, the following factors need to be considered:
  • Admissions requirements 
  • Location 
  • Public or Private 
  • Enrollment 
  • Cost 
  • Majors offered 
  • Nature of the student population
Bring a pen or pencil to any college fair. Bring address labels, if you have them. Many representatives will ask you for your name and address so they can send you additional information. Bring a notebook so that you can write down the particulars about each school you investigate. Develop your own list of questions to ask college representatives by using the topics listed below as a guide. Jot down the name of the college representatives you speak with in case you want to contact them later. 

Questions About the College:
  1. Where is the college located (city, small town, rural)?
  2. What is the surrounding community like?
  3. Is the college public, private, church affiliated?
  4. What is the current enrollment?
  5. What special or unique programs are offered?  
  6. Does the college have general education or course distribution requirements? What are they?
  7. Does the college have special programs for transfer students?
  8. What is the academic calendar (semesters, trimesters, quarters)?
  9. What if you don't know what you want to study at college?

Questions About the Student Population:
  1. Where do the majority of students come from? 
  2. Do most of the students commute or live on campus?
  3. What kinds of activities are there?
  4. Are there sororities and fraternities on campus?
  5. Which athletic programs are available?
  6. Is the surrounding community supportive of the college?
  7. Is housing available/guaranteed for freshmen? Is it available/guaranteed all four years?

Questions About Academics:
  1. What is the average class size? Largest? Smallest? 
  2. How many students in last year's freshman class returned for sophomore year (retention rate)? 
  3. What is a college's procedure for student orientation, class placement, and scheduling? 
  4. How is a faculty advisor assigned to students? What is the advising program like? 
  5. What services does the school offer for the student who is undecided about a major? 
  6. Do most students graduate in four or five years? 
  7. What are the most popular majors? 
  8. Are students taught by full time faculty members, graduate assistants, or a combination of the two? 
  9. What types of additional services are provided by the school at no additional cost to the student (e.g. tutoring, career and personal counseling, developmental reading and study skills workshops, job placement)? 
  10. Is there an honors program? What are the qualifications for entry? 

Questions About Social Life: 
  1. What is the average age of your student body? 
  2. What is the male to female ratio?
  3. What percent of the students reside on campus?
  4. Do you have coed dorms?
  5. Is yours a "suitcase college" where most students leave on the weekends?
  6. What are the procedures for selecting a roommate? Can you change roommates?
  7. What are some of the rules and regulations that govern campus and dormitory life?

Questions About Admissions Policies:
  1. Which high school courses are required?
  2. Are entrance exams required? Which ones? What range of scores is accepted?
  3. Does the college look for a certain GPA or rank in class?
  4. Will my activities and involvement in school be considered?
  5. Is there an early decision or early action plan?
  6. On what basis are applicants accepted?
  7. Are personal interviews or letters of recommendation required/encouraged?
  8. Are there special requirements for certain majors?
  9. What percent of applicants are accepted?
  10. What are the application deadlines? 

 Questions About College Costs and Financial Aid:
  1. What are the costs for tuition? Room & board? Are there other fees?
  2. How much did your cost increase from last year to this year?
  3. Is there a difference in the costs for in-state and out-of-state students?
  4. What percent of students receive financial aid based on financial need?
  5. What percent of students receive scholarships based on merit?
  6. What would be a typical financial aid package for a freshman?
  7. Will my financial aid be adjusted if my need increases?
  8. What are the financial aid application procedures and deadlines?
  9. Do you offer a tuition payment plan? 

 Campus Bound 
 Offices throughout Eastern Massachusetts

Talking with Career Representatives

Content provided by Campus Bound

Bring a pen or pencil to any career fair, and come prepared with questions. Do some advance self-reflection about what your own personal strengths and weaknesses are (academic, personal, etc) so you can ask questions about whether or not a certain career is a good fit for you. Bring a notebook so that you can write down the particulars about each career you investigate. Develop your own list of questions by using the topics listed below as a guide. Jot down the name and contact information of the career representatives you speak with in case you want to contact them later. Talk to people in career fields that you don’t know much about—this is an opportunity to learn about the myriad career options available to you. You never know when you’ll discover something that really intrigues you. 

Questions About the Career—Big Picture: 

  1. What specific jobs fall under this career? What fields are most closely related? 
  2. What would surprise people about this career? What are the less known tasks, requirements, and challenges? 
  3. What is most rewarding about this job? 
  4. How is the industry changing as society and technology advance? What do you expect to be the same or different in 5, 10, or 20 years? 5. How much structure is involved in this job environment? How much independence? 
  5. What is the work environment like is this field, generally? How formal, informal, friendly, professional, or tense is the day-to-day work environment? 
  6. How easy or hard is it to balance other aspects of life with this career – family, social life, hobbies, interests? 

Questions about Required Background, Education, Job Outlook: 

  1. What skills are required to be successful in this field? 
  2. What interests lead people to want to do this kind of work? 
  3. What kind of education and degrees are required? Are there specific undergraduate majors I should consider? 
  4. Are there requirements or expectations related to professional development or continued education? 
  5. Is there currently a demand for more employees in this field? Is there stiff competition for jobs? What do you expect in 5 years? 10 years? 
  6. What is the best way to learn more about this field, to see if it is a good match for me? 7. What do employers look for in entry level employees? 

Questions Specific to the Representative’s Experience: 

  1. How did you end up in this career? When did you know that this was the direction you wanted to pursue? 
  2. What do you wish someone had told you about this career when you were my age? 
  3. What is the most important thing I should do now if I want to pursue this career? 4. Do you like going to work each day? 
  4. What other questions should I be asking?

 Campus Bound 
 Offices throughout Eastern Massachusetts