Published : Friday, September 23, 2016 | 12:08 PM
Most college-bound high school students have at least one college fair in their futures. It’s a chance to talk to many different schools — often from a wide geographic area — in one location. While the opportunity is great, you want to leave a college fair with more than a fistful of brochures and a headache. Knowing what to expect can help you use a college fair to your best advantage.
Have a plan – A successful shopping trip often starts with a list, and shopping for colleges is no exception. Start by researching which colleges will be represented.
It’s also a good idea for both you and your child to have a list of questions to ask each school’s representatives. Your list will probably include things like costs, campus safety and career services. Your child may be more interested in majors, dorm accommodations and class size.
Know what you’re looking for – College fairs can be a lot like a noisy flea market, and with every flea market comes at least one very persuasive vendor trying to sell you something you don’t want or need. The key is to recognize one of your deal-breakers when speaking with a school’s representative and be able to walk away.
Be engaged and make contacts – It’s tempting to casually wander through a college fair to see what is out there, but what many students don’t realize is that this can be a great opportunity for networking. Pay attention to who you’re talking to at each booth and ask for their contact information at the end of your conversation.
And finally, try to have fun! Expand your horizons beyond what you’ve found so far on college search engines and by word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to explore something new, but in the end make sure you’re able to separate the schools with good sales pitches from those that should be strong contenders.
On Wednesday, September 28, the National Christian College Fair will be taking place on the Maranatha High School campus from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Student Center. The fair offers free admission and will feature various Christian colleges from across the U.S. and Canada, all of which have been approved by NACCAP.
A 30-minute financial aid workshop will also be offered. The workshop is a great opportunity for parents and students to learn about the financial aid process and how to make a Christian college education affordable.
For more information on Maranatha High School you can visit www.maranathahighschool.org. They are located at 169 South Saint John Avenue in Pasadena and can be reached at (626) 817-4000.