To College Fair or Not to College Fair?

On May 2nd and 3rd, admission advisors from hundreds of colleges and universities will be ready and waiting to talk with families in the Boston area at the NACAC College Fair at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport District. 

You can sign up for free at and see the list of participating colleges. Then log in on any fair date to attend sessions, download informational resources, and demonstrate interest… all without leaving home (if you can’t make it in person!). 

Attending a college fair is a great way to connect with hundreds of colleges in a short amount of time to learn about majors, scholarships, and more. If you have never been to a college fair in person, you may not know what to expect. Here are our top tips to help you make the most out of your experience:

  1. Dress comfortably, but not as you would if rolled out of bed. Remember you will be meeting college admissions representatives, so you want to make a good impression. It might get hot in the room, so it is ok to wear a t-shirt; just make sure it does not have any reference to alcohol, slang, or words/sayings that might be offensive.
  2. Know who will be there. While you may not know the name of the admissions representatives attending, you could probably find a list of the schools attending (you can search this one at Usually, at the larger fairs, up to 200 schools can be in attendance. So before heading out the door, know who will be there and make yourself a schedule on what schools you want to visit.
  3. Bring a notepad and pen (or take notes on your phone). After your conversations with an admissions counselor, jot down anything you remember about your conversation.  This will come in handy WHEN YOU SEND THEM A FOLLOW-UP EMAIL.
  4. Send the admissions representative a follow-up email. Yes, that is right; grab their business card as you end your chat and later send a follow-up email thanking them for taking the time to meet with you and highlighting something you remember from your conversation. Want to really impress them? Send them a handwritten note instead!
  5. Ask questions. A lot of them. That is why the representatives are there. They are happy to answer all your questions about admissions requirements, majors, financial aid, scholarships, student life, and anything else you are curious about.
  6. It is ok not to know what you want to study. Most admissions officers only ask this so they can filter the correct information for you, but it is ok – and actually, they like it – if you say you are not sure yet. This answer will allow them to talk about their general education curriculum and academic advising for students.
  7. Sign up for the school’s email. Most colleges will have you fill out a registration form so they can send you follow-up information. Don’t like your handwriting? Bring pre-printed stickers with your name, name of high school and graduating class, and email address on them, and just stick them onto the registration forms.
  8. Have an open mind. Visit with colleges you don’t know much about yet. You never know what you might learn that changes your mind.
  9. Pick up brochures, handouts, and other materials that the college is offering. You will be visiting with many schools, and it may be hard to keep track of all the information you are learning. Set up a filing system at home to keep materials organized.
  10. Don’t forget to bring snacks and water!
Let’s get started