The College Fair

Things Every Junior Should Know

Meeting a College Recruiter
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You step into the auditorium and see an ocean of people in business suits, all standing at tables. You have just entered your first college fair--a mass of college representatives who have come to talk with high school juniors and seniors--and you have no idea what to say!

There are a few things you should know, and they may make this process a little better.

1. You should know that the college reps are really eager to speak with you.

In fact, many of them are as eager to meet you as you are to get into that college of your dreams, so don't worry about a thing. Be confident and feel free to stop and talk.

2. You should never be shy about visiting the recruiter for a college that seems out of reach. Your goal as a junior is to gather information about the colleges that interest you. If you have a list in mind, visit those college representatives first. By talking to recruiters, you're really putting yourself on their radar. 

3. You may be eligible for big scholarships coming from small, lesser-known schools. You can browse around and visit representatives from these unfamiliar schools and ask for scholarship brochures.

4. Recruiters get lonely. You shouldn't be afraid to ask any question. If you see a recruiter standing around with no one to talk to, you should take the opportunity to ask general questions, like questions about degree programs you may find interesting.

5. Recruiters know a lot about their own schools, but they also know a lot about other schools. Sometimes, as you ask about certain degree programs that are difficult to find, a college rep will recommend another college with that degree.

6. College reps may ask you to fill out cards with your personal information.

When you do this, you are putting your name on a mailing list. Get ready for the mountains of promotional pamphlets that will fill your mailbox!

7. Warning! Students who fill out too many cards do find themselves swamped with material. This can become a problem if you begin to ignore all the mail. Some of it will be very important--like scholarship information.

8. Don't be afraid to bring up a potential weakness. If you're worried about your grade point average, or you have concerns about your standardized test scores (like the SAT), go ahead and bring it up. This is exactly the kind of question the recruiter is trained to address. They will give you good advice!

9. When you do approach a college table, be calm, be professional, but don't be too worried about making an impression. College fairs are busy and chaotic, and most reps aren't concerned about appearances and clothing. You have plenty of time for that later.

10. Don't worry if you forget to ask a question. You'll start receiving tons of mail from these colleges, and the marketing materials that they send you will answer any questions you forgot to bring up.

Questions to Ask the College Representative