A fair can be overwhelming for anyone attending. It is best to go in with a plan and a set of questions. Take some time to prepare and make the most of the opportunity.
Step 1: Preview
Preview the list of programs that will be attending the fair.
Step 2: Select at least four tables to visit
You can certainly visit more tables, but set four as a minimum.
- Grade 9 and 10 students may not be clear about what they want to do after high school. A good option for these students would be to look at one gap-year program, one technical/training program, one two-year school, and one four-year school. (See list of programs by category for the Post-Secondary School Fair.)
- Grade 11 students should look at their current post-secondary list and visit any of the programs that are on their list. They should also see if there are programs that might want to add.
Step 3: Develop a list of questions
Develop a list of questions that you will ask each of the programs. Ideally, this list should be specific to your interests.
Here are some suggestions that you could help get you started:
- What makes your program unique? What type of person does your program best serve?
- How large is your program? What are typical class sizes?
- Can you describe student life?
- What do your students do after completing your program?
- What are the types of academic support you provide for students with learning disabilities?
- What is the application process? How do you review applicants?
- What are the popular majors or areas of study in your program?
Step 4: Use a template
Here is a template to record schools and questions. Write the schools and the questions in the template before attending the fair and remember to take the template with you to the fair. Complete the template with notes during the fair. Don't wait until afterward. With so much information coming at one time, answers can get confusing! Don't feel self-conscious about taking notes during your conversations; schools will be impressed by your organization.
Step 5: Get a map
If the fair provides a map or the tables, pick one up when you enter. It will make it easier to find the programs you are looking to see. The Post-Secondary Fair will have a map available when you check-in.
Step 6: Dress to impress
While you are at a fair to get to know different schools, this is also a school's first impression of you.