There can be a number of intimidating encounters that you will experience along your college admissions journey; among them is when you’re directly communicating with college admission representatives at college fairs. You may feel as though you have to be careful with your words and the way in which you present yourself to them, or that they come to college fairs to hunt down information on prospective students. However, these common misconceptions are false. College representatives come to college fairs simply as resources. All they want to do is provide you with as much information about their school as they can and to answer any questions or concerns that you have. They are not there to find out your deepest darkest secrets and put your name on a list of future rejections. So no need to fear, here’s a guide on topics you can discuss with college representatives.
When speaking with an admissions representative, you should always ask questions that are specific to the particular college or university that they are representing, rather than asking broader, general questions that can simply be answered on the College Board website. For example, instead of asking what the GPA or SAT/ACT standards are for that school, ask about the kinds of aspects that the school particularly looks for in prospective students. Try asking more open-ended questions rather than yes/no questions so that you are given as much information as possible.
You should also do a bit of research on the colleges that you are interested in looking into before you attend the fair, so that you have a better understanding of the school as well as some things you may want to ask the representatives. Ask them about specific academic programs at their school or the campus environment. Not only does this allow you to have more accurate information, but it also shows the representative that you genuinely have an interest in that particular school. Don’t worry too much about that last part though; like I said, they’re not hunting for prospective students. This is just something that they appreciate, and may take note of when they review your application. However, do not be afraid to talk to representatives from schools you have never heard of because you might end up liking it a lot more than other schools you researched.
More than anything, the discussion between you and a college representative is nothing more than a conversation. So don’t treat it as if it’s an interview that your whole future depends on. Act casually, and speak to them like they’re actual people that you’re interested in speaking to. This doesn’t mean that you should rest your feet on a table and share a joke or two with them, however. It’s just important to keep in mind that these people are just here to help you; nothing more, nothing less.
So just keep in mind that college representatives are simply sources of information about particular schools, and there’s absolutely no harm in speaking with them. You’ll probably leave the college fair with so much more information than you expected if you do.