College Fair Tips

Students at a National College FairEach year, NACAC holds more than 90 fairs across the nation. Free to students, families, and counselors, National College Fairs allow you to meet face-to face with college representatives.

Use these tips to make the most of out the experience:

Before the Fair
Register online for the fair at to receive a barcode for easy onsite access to college representatives. Print the barcode and bring it to the fair as your electronic ID. Online registration leaves more time for you to meet one-on-one with admission representatives.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I want to attend a large, medium, or small school?
  • What major do I wish to study?
  • Do I want to attend an urban, suburban, or rural school?
  • Do I want to attend a two-year, four-year, single-sex, or religiously-affiliated school?
  • Do I want to participate in athletics, clubs, fraternities, sororities, or special programs such as study abroad or cooperative education.

Research colleges attending the fair to determine if they meet your search criteria.

Make a list of questions to ask college representatives.

At the Fair
Pick up a fair directory and bag for all of the materials you collect.

Visit schools that match or are the closest match to your search criteria. Be adventurous. Don’t just talk to the well-known schools.

Ask the college representative to scan your barcode. This will allow the representative to follow up with you directly—and quickly.

Ask the same questions to each college representative you visit.

Take notes. Write down what you find most interesting about each college.

Attend an information session to learn more about the college search process, financial aid, and other topics.

After the Fair
Review college websites, catalogs, and viewbooks to gather more information to help narrow your choices.

Send a thank you note/email to the college representatives you met. This simple gesture can show admission officials you're serious about wanting to attend their college.