Planning Days for Students
Planning Days are college fairs hosted at different high schools throughout the state. These fairs are open to high school juniors and seniors and provide an opportunity to meet with colleges, military and other organizations you are interested in learning more about. This is a fantastic time to start your post-secondary search! To find out more about the fair in your area, click here to view the Planning Days Schedule.
Helpful College Fair Tips
College fair season begins in September and runs through November for many people around the nation. It's an exciting time to talk with a plethora of different college and military representatives and to find out information crucial to your post-high school career path selection. It's also a time that students walk away from the fairs with a bag full of information and a dazed and confused look as to what just happened. College fairs don't have to be this way for everyone and can be more enjoyable, if you're prepared.
Get Ready for the College Fair!
Here are a few things that can help make your college fair experience much more enjoyable:
Read the list of colleges, military and other organizations that are planning to attend the college fair in your area - There is only so much time at a college fair and why not make the most out of it. This helps so you can spend time talking with representatives you really want to talk to.
Evaluate which booths you would like to visit - Once you have the list you can now start looking into the schools (e.g. talk with your high school counselor, visiting websites, watching videos about the school or organization, looking at academic programs, etc...) to determine which ones you would like to visit. Try to narrow it down at least 10 booths you would like to visit during the fair. Remember an organized plan leaves more time for finding out all the information on the schools/organizations you are interested in. Be adventurous, and look into a few colleges or organizations you might not know about or want to look into.
Ask good questions - As much as we say there are no foolish questions, do you ever find yourself really surprised at some? Example: Student - "Is your college a good school?" I'll give you one guess as to the answer - "Why, yes. We're a great school." Good questions help clarify what is meant by saying they are a good school. Here are some sample questions to get you thinking:
What makes your school stand out from others?
Do I have to live on campus my first year?
What do students at your school like about it? What do they dislike?
How many students are on your campus?
Why do students choose your school?
Are there scholarships for my GPA and ACT score? Are there scholarships for my sport or club?
What do students think of the food on campus? (Think about this one, chances are you're going to be eating there a lot)
Why would I choose your engineering program over XYZ University?
What's your graduation rate? What's your dropout rate?
What's really important to you about the school/organization you might spend the next few years attending? Ask about it.
Explore the information you just collected - By the time you walk out of the building you will have talked with many college and military representatives and collected a bag full of recruiting materials. Go home and look through it, have your friends over to discuss what they like about the materials or sit and talk with your parents about it. Look things over and try to determine if there are some schools you would like to visit.
Hopefully you will be able to RELAX this fall as you engage in searching for "your" post-high school path. Searching for your path to follow after high school is tough, but hopefully some of these tips will help make the process more enjoyable. Best wishes on starting the search for your next big adventure in life.