Darlington School: 12 Tips for Making the Most of the College Fair
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12 Tips for Making the Most of the College Fair

Ivy Brewer | August 22, 2016 | 723 views

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time at Darlington's annual College Fair on Monday:

1) Look at the list of the 183 colleges that will be attending the fair in advance. Make a list of those you want to be sure to visit. Click here for the list of colleges attending the fair this year.

2) Prepare a question or two that you would like to ask every college. If you ask every college the same question(s), you can compare their answers on topics important to you. For examples of great questions to ask, click here to check out "A Pocket Guide to Choosing a College."

3) Bring a pen! The colleges will have some, but they won’t have enough for everyone and you will want to make notes on the answers to all of those questions you asked.

4) Seniors ONLY: Wear your grey uniform polo shirt! The colleges know that the seniors will be wearing grey shirts, so they will keep a special eye out for you since you are the ones currently applying!

5) Keep an open mind. It is likely that there will be many colleges at the fair with which you are unfamiliar. Just because you aren’t familiar with them doesn’t mean they aren’t great schools! In fact, one of them might be just right for you! Explore all of your options. Remember that the college process is about finding the right fit. Ultimately, you want to select a college where you can be successful and happy. Where will you thrive?

6) Don’t be nervous or shy. College admission representatives are known for being cheerful, outgoing people. They are eager to talk to you! It will be easy to strike up a conversation with them, so don’t hesitate to approach them.

7) Introduce yourself. Offer a firm handshake. Look the representative in the eyes. Complete your interest card neatly so they can follow up with you after the fair. When you part company, thank the representative for the information you received and for coming all the way to Rome, Ga., to see you. (Manners matter!)

8) Listen. You have come prepared with questions to ask, and that’s great. So have your classmates. The questions they ask might be something you had not considered. Listen to the questions others pose and the answers they receive. Their inquiries might just help you in your search!

9) If you see a representative alone at a table without anyone talking to them, approach them and ask about their college. Be hospitable. You will make a good impression of yourself and of Darlington. (Yes, college representatives see each other throughout their travel season. They often talk to one another. You just never know when a compliment of your behavior might be passed along from one school to another.)

10) Collect information and brochures to review at home with your family. Make notes on any pertinent information the representative told you.

11) Do NOT sit down in the hallway or try to leave early! The fair is only one hour long. These colleges have come from all over the country and the world to see YOU! Show that you value their time and effort by being attentive for the entire hour. 

12) Ask for the representative’s business card. Write the representative a thank you note for spending time with you at the fair. (Handwritten thank you notes are preferable to emails.) You can also follow up with the representative if you or your parents have questions later.

Darlington School's College Fair is a wonderful opportunity for you to connect with many unique institutions from across the country and around the world. Please use the hour to the fullest extent. See you there! 

Darlington’s College Fair will take place Monday, Aug. 29, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Johnson Field House of the Huffman Athletic Center. All students in grades 9-12 are required to attend. Parents are welcome to attend as well.

Click here to see photos from last year's fair.