One of the hardest parts of college fairs is making sure your student is in the driver’s seat. While it may feel “easier” to take control, at the end of the day, they are the ones who will be attending university for the next four or five years. In order to make sure students find the best college experience for themselves, they need to take ownership of the process. And yes, that includes being prepared for college fairs—even virtual ones.
College fairs go by in the blink of an eye, and virtual college fairs can feel even faster – there’s no long drive of anticipation from home to college campus, and with it, no lull time to chat about what your student is looking forward to learning. As such, it’s important to create dedicated time to prepare for virtual college fairs.
Here are five tips to help your student prepare for a virtual college fair.
Set a goal
To make sure your student is getting the most out of the virtual college fair, help them set a goal for the day. This is particularly important for a virtual fair because—as anyone who has been on back-to-back video calls knows—it can be harder to keep focused during virtual meetings than in-person ones. Whether your student wants to know about class sizes or the extracurricular activities that schools offer, having a goal will keep them focused and attentive during the virtual fair.
Take time to sit down with your child and help them brainstorm the types of questions they want to ask. Doing this critical thinking exercise will help your child really think about what matters to them in a future school.
Show up dressed for success
Just because the fair is virtual doesn’t mean your student won’t make an impression. Make sure your student is putting their best foot forward by showing up to the college fair dressed in neat, comfortable attire with their video on, ready to participate.
Find a comfortable space for the call
As we all know from the past year, working from home can be distracting. If your student decides to join the virtual college fair from home, make sure they log on to the computer from a space that’s comfortable and relatively quiet. If home is too distracting, your student can go to a local library or ask their teacher if they can use a room at school for the call.
Bring a notebook
Since your student is there to learn, make sure they have a notebook/pen or electronic note options on hand to jot down any thoughts or takeaways from the college fair. Maybe your student realizes they want a university experience in a city versus on a traditional college campus or wants to look further into the different tracks of an environmental studies program. Encourage your student to take notes that will help them distinguish between any schools of interest and do any follow-up research as needed.
These are just some initial tips to get your student started on preparing for a virtual college fair. Remember: The more you learn, the more you know. Once your student starts preparing, the college admissions process will feel much more approachable.