Empowering students and guiding families

All Things College

College visits and demonstrated interest

If you are a high school student who is planning to hit the road this summer and visit colleges, or if you are just thinking about colleges, learning about demonstrated interest is important.

What is demonstrated interest and why should you care? Both are good questions. Many colleges have a system to track your interest in them. This could be a result of the Commonapp. Colleges were starting to see what they called stealth applications. These applications were from students who had, prior to the submission of their application, shown no interest in the school.

These stealth applications proved problematic for colleges because colleges really only want to admit students who will at least consider attending. Colleges are very careful to track their numbers and if a large number of students who are accepted decide to attend than this is very, very good for the school. A very qualified student who applies, but hasn’t demonstrated any interest is a bit of a risk for colleges because they have no idea how interested, (probably not very if he hasn’t even signed up for mailings), this student is and how likely he is to attend if accepted. Colleges don’t want to mess up their numbers!

Demonstrating interest is easy and can be done in several ways. In some cases it might even tip the scales in your favor. If you are vying for a spot and are as equally qualified as a student who hasn’t demonstrated any interest the spot may go to you!

Visiting is the first and obvious choice for demonstrating interest. Make sure to register in advance and sign in when you get to admissions. Sometimes you will get a business card from your student tour guide at the end of the tour. If you have questions for them feel free to contact them.  That is another touch point and sign of demonstrated interest. Please don’t contact them just to demonstrate interest-everyone is busy!

Social media is an easy an easy way to demonstrate interest. Like the school on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest. If the school is in snow country you will see lots of pretty pics of the first snowfall. Also, if you are into sports do the same with the sports team that you are interested in. If you hate basketball, but love women’s hockey then follow the women’s hockey team and skip men’s basketball unless you want to see promotional posts before every game. In other words, just follow what you are interested in.

You can also get on a mailing list by going online and telling the college a bit about yourself. You will get mail-email, regular mail and probably both. Some schools have virtual tours on their websites where you can actually demonstrate your interest as you tour the college from your bedroom. You will need to register for the virtual tour and this will put you on a marketing list so make sure it’s a school that you won’t mind hearing from.

Even emails to admissions to ask a quick question are often documented, but don’t overdo it here. Emails to professors could count as well.

If you are at a college fair and fill out the info card you will be put on a mailing list and this will show interest. Be careful how many ways you contact the school to get on their mailing lists and make sure that you use the same name every time. I have gotten duplicate mailings from colleges under both Ellie Duley and Eleanor Duley and it’s really frustrating. Especially if you care about the health of the planet!

If you take a business card from the admissions rep at a college fair and email her later this is also a form of demonstrated interest. If you have a burning question for the rep and don’t hear back immediately it may because she is on the road doing other fairs so be patient.

When college reps come to your school you will most likely sign up in guidance. You may even have a chance to talk with the rep one-on-one if other students can’t make it to the meeting.

No matter how you demonstrate interest you will most likely end up on a marketing or mailing list. This is one reason to be careful and deliberate about where you demonstrate your interest. You could get mailings and emails from colleges for years so don’t just contact a bunch of schools that you aren’t really interested in and ask for more info. On the other hand, if you even think you might be interested go on and demonstrate some interest. Colleges love to feel the love.

University of Maine Honors College

Walk through the bears mouth into the Collins Center for the Arts

Walk through the bears mouth into the Collins Center for the Arts

Honors Colleges have been getting a lot of press lately because they can be a more affordable way for academically excellent students to have the experience of a small liberal arts college at a large public university (with in-state or significantly lower tuition).  Honors Colleges are not a new thing, in fact the Honors College at the University of Maine has been around since the 1930′s! Some have set criteria for admission or even a separate application with additional essay. This blog will explore how the Honors College works at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine, specifically. If you are interested in other Honors Colleges, I’m sure that you can find info on their websites or on a visit to the school.

The University of Maine at Orono, or UMaine as it will be referred to here, has had an Honors College for years. Currently, there are about 800 students involved in the program. Each of these students is also studying in one of the other colleges at the university (liberal arts & sciences, engineering, business-you get the picture). Honors College at UMaine is a 24-27 credit program that is an inter-disciplinary approach that enriches the learning that is happening within a students major.

So how do you get into this program that offers access to professors, fellowship opportunities, study abroad programs, honors housing and the opportunity to do a senior thesis or Capstone? At UMaine, the top 20% of the incoming class are invited to join the Honors College. It’s completely up to the student whether she takes advantage of this opportunity. There is not a  separate application (no additional essays) and there aren’t clear criteria for admission to the Honors College. The top 20% takes into account SAT/ACT scores and high school GPA and these variables change every year based on the make-up of the admitted class.

Students typically take one honors class per semester. These classes often count toward the students general education requirements for graduation so these aren’t ‘extra’ classes. Honors classes will be more discussion based due to the small size (typically between 8-14 students). To graduate with honors a student must complete the requirements of the program and have a 3.3 GPA. For more information check out: https://honors.umaine.edu

I was at UMaine on Monday for an open house and applications are already pouring in so if you intend to apply to the university I would encourage you to consider the 12/1 early action (non-binding) deadline. New this year and something I’ve mentioned in the past-12/1 is a hard deadline for certain majors like mechanical engineering and nursing. Be sure to check out your intended major so you don’t miss the boat!

Commonapp activities- a necessary evil?

The activities section of the Commonapp might be more important than you think. Why do colleges care about your activities? It’s simple, really. They want to know what you are up to when you aren’t in the classroom. Why? Because colleges want students who will get involved in their college community. They also want to make sure that you aren’t spending all your time playing video games!

So, back to the activities section  of the Commonapp. There is room to list up to ten activities. Whether you have two activities or ten, you should prioritize them in order of importance to you. If you have more than ten that are really important then you might want to attach a resume, but that’s another blog.

After you prioritize them you can fill out the section like this:

  • There will be two drop down boxes-these are self-explanatory
  • Position/Leadership line-this is limited to 50 characters. If your activity is a club then you will name the club. If you hold an office you will name that office. Get as much info into these 50 characters as possible.
  • The next box asks you to describe the activity. Here you have 150 characters. Yes, I wrote characters and not words, but you need to write words so choose them carefully.
  • Next is which grades that you participated in this activity. If it’s in the summer that will be added to the year following that summer.
  • Timing of participation is a dropdown and your choices are during the school year, break or all year.
  • The next line is hours/week. If it’s a sport count practice time and games.
  • Next is weeks/year. Do your best here. Don’t forget pre-season or any summer camps where you are involved with that activity.
  • Do you intend to participate in this activity in college? It’s OK if you don’t!
  • Lather, rinse, repeat and move on to the next activity.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lather,_rinse,_repeat

So what goes into the activities section? Here are some options:

  • Clubs
  • Sports
  • Drama
  • Band or youth orchestra
  • Volunteering
  • Summer job
  • School year job
  • Babysitting younger siblings
  • Religious involvement other than just attending service
  • Hobbies

Some things to think about as you prioritize:

  • A sport that you played varsity in 9th grade and never continued probably isn’t as important as one that you played for four years-even if you never started!
  • Paid volunteer (one time) humanitarian trips are fine, but they really just show colleges that your parents can afford to send you. This alone does not show that you are passionate about saving the world!
  • Not having a lot of activities because you either work to contribute to the family income or babysit younger sibs so parents can work is a very worthy use of your time.
  • Working a part-time job so that you can have gas money and pay for car insurance shows maturity and money skills and there may be an opportunity to show leadership depending on the job.
  • Did you start a dog walking business?  There is so much good stuff here…
  • Rebuilding an antique car? Think of all you’ve learned during this process.
  • Helping elderly neighbors rake leaves every year? One time is probably not enough-especially if your parents made you do it.
  • Do you write songs? Draw  caricatures? Colleges want to know.

The activities section is definitely a way to differentiate yourself from others so spend some quality time here.

 

You have a college list-now what?

You know that you need a balanced college list. You’ve done the research and visited the schools. You feel that you’d be happy at all of your schools, (if not then why bother applying, right?). You’ve started your Common App (www.commonapp.org) and even finished the main essay. Now what?

Unless you plan to have all your applications (and supplemental essays) done by October 15, you will need to prioritize your list by deadline. This blog is not addressing Early Decision at all-that would be another post!

If you are exclusively using the Common App then you can have all your deadlines right on your dashboard. These will not show up until you go into each school and click on the ‘add your term or admission plan’ . Once you do this you will be directed to answer a few questions including the most important ‘preferred admission term’. This may vary by school. Some will have Early Decision (which I’m not addressing), Early Action, Restricted Early Action (I’m not addressing this, either), and Regular Decision. You will either click on Early Action or Regular Decision for the sake of this post. As a side note, your ‘preferred start term’ will most likely be Fall 2017 unless you are a current college student who is applying as a transfer. This seems perfectly logical, and it is, but it’s tripped up many anxious applicants and it’s embarrassing to have to call the college to change the date.

So, you have all your deadlines on your dashboard. Why did you do this in August? It’s a great idea to know when your first deadline is. This is the date that you will give to your school counselor and other recommenders. One thing that you don’t want to do is to drop this deadline on them two days prior. I like students to give at least two weeks notice so that recommenders can plan the order in which they need to write their letters for you and other students. More notice is better!

Another reason to get all your admission deadlines in front of you is so that can plan which applications need to be done first. You may have several schools that have supplemental essays (I’m looking at you, Boston College) and you may not have time to get them all done before the deadlines. This is where you prioritize which schools make sense to apply early. If you have a school that has it’s own application, (I’m looking at you, MIT) then you need to keep this deadline info somewhere where you won’t lose track of it.

So, why would you apply early, anyway? Good question. You might choose to apply in the fall to get the stressful job over with. You might also apply early to have a chance at more merit money, (note that this varies by school). Applying under an early action plan will also mean that you should have a decision sooner.

Also, in my opinion, it’s worth keeping in mind that ‘optional’ supplemental essays really aren’t optional :)

So, why would you wait? It may make sense to wait for regular decision if you feel that you don’t have your very best application. You may want to submit first quarter or first semester grades or you may plan to take the December SAT.  The beauty is that you can choose which way to apply to all your schools.

To summarize-knowing your deadlines helps recommenders plan and helps you plan your college application strategy.

While we are talking deadlines I can’t help but mention that financial aid deadlines are all over the place and need to be managed as well!

FSA ID for college financial aid

You may have heard that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is opening early this year… and from now on. What does this mean? To receive need-based financial aid for college all students will need to fill out the FAFSA. Students who may not be eligible for need-based aid, but want to take advantage of Federal loans, and in some cases, merit aid, will also need to fill out the FAFSA. Beginning this year, the FAFSA will open on October 1. This is three months earlier than in the past. What will this mean? It’s hard to say. Will students get their financial aid reports from schools earlier? Time will tell. So, what do you need to do? You can’t file for the FAFSA until October 1, but you can make sure that your, (and your parents) 2015 tax returns are all done and filed. You can also get your FSA ID.

What is this FSA ID that you speak of? Good question. The FSA ID is a way to electronically sign your FAFSA and also a way to gain access to other important financial aid forms, (think loans). Every student who is applying for financial aid for college should have a FSA ID….and they will need one of their parents to have this FSA ID as well. If you plan to file your first FAFSA this fall you need to wait until October 1st, but there is something that you can do now. You, and a parent, can get your FSA ID by going to www.fsaid.ed.gov . You will need social security numbers and birth dates to get an ID. It is recommended for parents, and really necessary for students, to use an email address, one for each of you,  that you will have access to until your student loans are paid. This is a great time to come up with a gmail address that you can use for college applications and shouldn’t be anything that is ridiculous like partygrl@gmail.com. I don’t know if this is taken, but just don’t go there! Students and parents cannot share an email address when there are setting up separate FSA IDs.

If your parents have older kids who have gone through the financial aid process, they may already have a PIN number. If they remember what it is, they can merge it with the new FSA ID  system. If the PIN number system means nothing to you then just focus on the FSA ID. This is what you need to have in 2016 and beyond.

So, why would you get your ID now if you don’t need to file until October? Good question. The answer is because whatever you can do now you won’t have to do later when you are worried about college applications. It is also something that needs to be done correctly so if you have more time and concentration now then you might have two hours before a financial aid deadline then I would suggest that you take advantage of that. When applying for your FSA ID be sure to read the instructions and make sure that all the info is correct. You only have one SS# so make sure that you are accurate in entering it!

One other thing to think about. You will have an opportunity to have your email verified. This can be very helpful later if you don’t remember your user name and password (do you have a system to keep track of usernames and passwords? This might be a good time to start). By verifying your email….and this is the basic gmail that doesn’t suggest to colleges anything about your social life, it will be a lot easier to get into your account should you forget your user name, password, or choose to change your security questions. To get your email verified, you will need to put in your email and then retrieve a code from said email, within ten minutes or so, and enter this code. Once this is done you are all good. Your social security # will be linked with this email and you will have easy access to your information for years to come.

It may not seem like much, but believe me, you will be happy that you have done this later. Fall of senior year is incredibly busy with applications, AP classes, and leadership obligations. By doing this now it will be so very easy to apply for financial aid and complete the FAFSA come Oct. 1. One last word on financial aid-check all your deadlines. Know when your first deadline is and make sure that you file for maximum considerations for aid. Also, know if you need to file the Profile. This separate financial aid application (owned by Collegeboard) often has different deadlines. Preparing now will save you lots of angst (SAT word?) later!

Some thoughts and tips on the college essay

So, junior year is behind you. AP tests are over and you’ve had at least one go at the redesigned SAT. There is nothing more that you could possibly be doing to get ready for the college application season, right? Um, no. That’s not right at all. How about working on your college essay? Yes, that’s a fantastic idea and a great way to stay engaged in the whole college process over the summer.

About the essay-what do you need to know? Since the majority of my clients use the common application I will start there. There are five prompts for the common app and you can find them here. You should read through all of the questions to see what jumps out at you as a possible topic. You only need to pick one topic from this list. The common app recently came out and reported that 47% of students submit topic #1. This is something that you’d like colleges to know about you. You know, what makes you unique. Basically, you can make many ideas fit into this topic.

So now that you’ve seen the questions how about some tips?

  • Words. I have 2 things to say about words:
  1. You have between 250-650 words. Plan on writing between 600-625 words-it’s harder than you might think to be this concise and your essay will be chopped off at 650 words if you exceed the limit. Don’t leave your readers (aka admission officers) hanging by ignoring this detail. I advise going a bit short of 650-just in case.
  2. Choose your words carefully. Not only is it hard to craft a memorable essay in 650 words or less-this means that every word counts-it’s also important to choose words that aren’t strange, scary or sound too much like you went to the Thesaurus. Believe it or not, many years ago I read an essay with the word nihilistic in it 3 times. I can’t think of an essay that I want to see that has this word once, but 3 times. Like, what’s your point, dude? And yes, I did have to look it up to make sure that I knew the definition because, frankly, it’s not a word I use every day and it wasn’t clear in context…any of the 3 times. I’m not making this up!
  • First person. I know that you don’t write in first person in school, like, ever, but you need to figure it out for your college essay. That’s all. You just need to figure it out.
  • Go deep. This tip is tied in with first person. You don’t want to write a bunch of sentences like, I did this and I did that and aren’t I great. You will need to do some reflection and examine what you did, why you did it, and what you learned from it. It all depends on your essay which questions you will address (preferably all 3) and how you will address them. Just make sure to spend some time reflecting. This is a big part of what I do when I work with students. We spend a lot of time trying to draw the good stuff out. It’s also better to go deep on 1 thing rather than trying to cover every detail in your 17 years.
  • A moment in time. This relates to going deep. A great college essay doesn’t start with the day you were born or the day you started Kindergarten and declared that you would someday be a doctor. Sometimes a great essay can be just a moment in time. It’s how you describe and relate to this moment that will make the essay memorable.
  • Set the scene. I’m really loving essays that start by setting the scene-just be careful to not spend too much time (or too many words) leading up to what you really want your readers to take away from your essay.

I could go on and on because college essays are a very geeky kind of fun for me, but I’m over 650 words and my goal was to keep it in that realm as an example.

OK-you’ve got this. Sit down, read the questions, bounce some ideas off your parents and get cracking. Wouldn’t it be great to have the essay behind you before you walk into pre-calc in late August?

The College Essay-a few questions answered

The college essay can seem both daunting and mysterious. Is it just a rite of passage or do colleges really read these creative masterpieces? Following, are a few questions that might have been keeping you up at night.

How do I know if I need to write an essay?

Typically, you will know if you need to write an essay (or more than one) when you look at the application. The Common Application (www.commonapp.org) has partnered with over 600 colleges and universities. This application has five questions of which you must answer one. Depending on where you apply, you may be asked to answer one or more supplemental essay questions as well as the main one. These are typically more specific to that school and are generally shorter. If a college or university uses their own application, they may have no essay requirements or a question different from the choices on the Common Application. You should be able to get all this information from college websites or by calling the admissions office.

How long should the essay be?

The essay for the Common Application has to be between 250-650 words. Anything less will be rejected and anything more will be cut off at 650 words.  Individual college applications should have word counts on the application and on the website.

Why do colleges want an essay?

Typically, the essay is both evaluative, to see how well you write and express your thoughts, and used as a way to get to know more about you as an applicant. The essay is your chance to tell admission counselors something about you that they can’t find anywhere else in your application file.

How long should it take to write the essay?

This depends! Most high school students don’t regularly write in first person for school assignments. It may take some time to get used to this style of writing. In my experience, most students write at least four drafts of their essay. It’s not unheard of to scrap an essay altogether and pick a new topic. Also, many 17 year-olds don’t regularly think deeply about ‘what makes them tick’ or why they make the decisions that they do. This type of thinking is vital to the essay and may take some time to get comfortable with. The essay is definitely not something that should be started on the day before the deadline!

Can my parents help me?

Parents can be a great resource for helping students brainstorm for the essay. They can also be very useful in helping the student determine if the essay accurately reflects him/her. Does the essay sound like you wrote it? Parents should never write the essay. Don’t laugh; it happens. Parents should also be very careful with any proofreading as they may interject a word or phrase that a 17 year-old just wouldn’t ever say. Admissions counselors have read thousands of essays and they know when something doesn’t ring true.

So now that the mysteries of the college essay are unraveled, you can take this long weekend and get cracking. Early decision deadlines are just around the corner!

Why colleges like to see what you did last summer…

Junior year is almost over. Time to kick back and relax poolside, lakeside, beachside and hang out with friends 24/7, right? This sounds like the perfect reward for busting butt all year; acing classes and killing it on the SAT.

This sounds great, but it will get old and most importantly for the college going student, this is not what colleges want to see. It’s also probably not what parents want to see… and they’re still probably paying for at least your cell phone.  Got to keep them happy!

So, what is a rising senior to do? It’s short and simple-get a job! You don’t have to start your own business (though you could) and babysitting does count. You don’t have to have a big fancy summer plan or a trip to Europe to study classics to impress colleges.

Summer jobs provide students with money, (duh), but they are also great for other reasons.

Students who work in the summer might find themselves balancing many things like athletics, dance or music lessons, family vacations and the all important social life. This sounds hard, but it’s really great training for college where you will be pulled in many directions and it seems like you have endless amounts of time. Trust me, you won’t have endless amounts of time. You may only be in class for 15 hours a week, but you will need to plan for many hours of study time each week as well.  You will also be juggling clubs, sports, meeting new friends and other things that eat up a lot of time. Colleges like to see students with time management skills!

Summer jobs are also a great way to learn and practice leadership skills. You might work up to being a second key in a retail store or you may plan and execute a great outing for the kids you’re babysitting. Leadership gained through a summer job could be a great college essay. Oh yeah, that’s another thing you should be thinking about during free time over the summer.

Communication is key to having a summer job. Whether you are scooping ice cream and dealing with the sweet loving public or lifeguarding at the local pool, you will be dealing with all types of people (customers, bosses, parents-you get the picture). You will learn to advocate for yourself if you want to ask for time off or negotiate schedule changes with a co-worker. You will deal with upset people-you didn’t really run out of triple chocolate brownie fudge???

You might even experience a bit of failure at your summer job. You might find out that you hate dealing with the public or that you can’t pass a lifesaving course no matter how hard you try. This sounds awful, but it is still an opportunity. Essay, anyone? Showing how you dealt with, and what you learned from, failure can be a very powerful essay. Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you do. It’s always better to experience failure before you go off to college and while you still have a great support system at home.

You will also learn about money management and perhaps budgeting. Colleges may not care as much about this unless you need that money to pay the bill! You will surely benefit from the experience when you go out to live on your own.

Sticking with a job all summer (even if you hate it) shows colleges that you can see something through. It also shows a certain level of maturity and colleges like this.

Basically, what it comes down to, is that colleges like students who have a bit of life experience. And yes, you can get this right in your own hometown.

College application season is about to officially open…

Ready, Set, Go…here are the common app questions for the 2015-2016 application season. Current juniors- you can get started at any time…..though I would suggest that you finish junior year strong, take your AP tests and perhaps the SAT or ACT, enjoy prom and wait ’til summer to work on your college essay!

 

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3  Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

5  Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

 

College Fair Season is Here

So, yesterday I drove up to the University of Maine to attend the annual NEACAC fall college fair.  There were over 100 colleges and universities represented and busloads of high school students. The large room had an undercurrent of good energy. The college reps that I spoke with were more than happy to give me info about new programs and facilities at their schools. Students were stuffing plastic bags with literature from all sorts of different institutes of higher education. It was a frenetic two hours. I left feeling that I’d made some great connections and learned a lot in a short period of time. It’s not an alternative to a college visit, but it’s a great way to get a taste for a place and, later, plan a visit if interested.

It was what I heard when I was leaving that made me feel a little disheartened. “I only talked to one person,” “I couldn’t wait to get out of there,” “Those kids from X high school looked like they are in their 20’s.” I think you get the picture. A lot of the high school students were not very engaged in this fabulous resource. Did they attend because they had to? Perhaps they had Physics first thing on a Tuesday morning. It doesn’t really matter, but it got me to thinking about how a college fair can be done right. I’ve gathered some tips for students and parents. I hope that you’ll find them useful.

Before you go:

  • You should hear about these events from the guidance office at your high school. If the high school is sending a bus, you may have to sign up for a seat on that bus and probably will need to get a permission slip signed and returned before you go. Do this.
  • You should also be able to get a list of the participating colleges and universities from your high school guidance office. Get this.
  • Use this list to research schools that interest you. Ask yourself some basic questions-do you want to be in a city? How about a single sex school? A school affiliated with a certain religion? A school with a great football team? www.collegeboard.org has some great (and free) resources for narrowing down the college search process. Check them out.
  • After your research you should make a list of which school representatives you’d like to speak with at the fair. Make this list.
  • Also, make a list of questions that you’d like to ask each rep.
  • Plan to wear something comfortable. You won’t be interviewing with any schools, but you do want to make a good impression so keep this in mind when choosing your wardrobe.

At the fair (do’s and don’ts):

  • Don’t clump in a group with your friends. Really, don’t, it’s hard for others to get around you. The fair will be crowded
  • Don’t hide in the bathroom.
  • Put your phone away.
  • Do get a listing of schools and map if available. Also, grab a bag to put materials in.
  • Do look at your school list and seek out these reps.
  • Introduce yourself, shake hands and look the rep in the eye. This is good practice for life. It’s also polite.
  • Schools are often at tables that are arranged in alphabetical order. This makes it easier to find (and re-find) the schools on your list. You don’t have to start at the front of the alphabet, but have a plan so that you’re not spending the whole time walking around.
  • Ask each rep your prepared questions and be open to continuing the conversation if an answer sparks a new question.
  • Fill out info forms only for schools that you’d like to get mail from. Trust me, you will get a lot of mail-you don’t need to fill out these cards for every school in the room!
  • Take materials from schools that interest you. You don’t need to stuff your bag with materials from every school. It’s not Halloween and they usually don’t have candy.
  • Take a business card if you are thinking that you might like to apply to a school.
  • Thank the representative for their time; move away from the table and let others have a chance to learn about that fantastic school.

After the fair:

  • Email a quick thank you to the reps that you spoke with if you are interested in their school. This is why you grabbed a business card.
  • Look over the material that you collected. You may have a lot of stuff and it’s overwhelming, but you picked it up for a reason.
  • Do further research on the schools you liked. Check out their websites-that’s why they have them.

As for parents-some fairs are in the evening or on weekends. Let your child do the research and speak with representative. Perhaps you could provide transportation to the fair and become more involved when it’s time to visit specific schools.

As is true with most things, students who put a little bit of time in before the fair will definitely get more out of it. And you never know what application tips you might get while talking to these reps. I know that I got a few good ones yesterday!

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