You’ve returned from your first college fair. If you took advantage of the dozens of tables, collecting information and asking questions, you likely have a pile of handouts, brochures, pamphlets, notes, post-cards, flyers, magnets, key chains, coasters, business cards, and other bits of information and marketing gadgets. You may be feeling overwhelmed with everything you were given. You may have no idea where to begin. The following is a list of ways you can best use that pile to push you further into making that decision on where to apply for college.
One way you can begin digging through all of the information you’ve picked up is to categorize everything. You can separate them by places you’re interested in and places you probably won’t be interested in, or by places you know a lot about and places you know little about. By splitting up the information into categorizes, you can have a better grasp on what it is you’ve actually picked up, and where you are in your college search.
Look at the Pictures
The information you receive will likely have pictures of the campus on it. Take time to actually look at these pictures. While a picture of the campus can’t make up for a real visitation, you can still tell a lot from the picture. Does this look like a place you could call home, or does it look scary? Do you find the campus attractive? Can you see yourself there?
Read the Majors List
You were likely given for many of the colleges a list of majors you could pursue at that college. Look at what the different colleges offer. What kind of school is this? You can often tell just by looking at the majors a little about that school’s culture. A technical school will probably have a higher value on sciences as opposed to a liberal arts school.
Re-Read Your Notes
If you took notes during the college fair, re-read them, while looking at the materials associated with the colleges you wrote about. This will allow you to get a more conceptualized idea of the different institutions.
Weed Some Out
There are some colleges you’ll know from the very start that you’re uninterested. While you may want to look over the material for these schools, just to be sure you haven’t missed something really great, you can start creating a pile of places you don’t want to attend based on whatever reason. Be sure to take note as to why you’re uninterested in these schools, as this is part of the process of narrowing down your perfect college match.
Hit the Web
Whatever you’ve received at the college fair, there’s more of it online. By going to the web sites of the schools you’re interested in, you can answer your own questions, get more information, and possibly continue to narrow down your search.
If you want to set up a college visit, talk to an advisor, shadow a student, or just get more information, there’s likely a business card for someone who can help you do that. Don’t be afraid to send them a quick email or give them a call. That’s their job!
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