How To Make The Most Of A Performing Arts College Fair

As I said in my last post, college visits are the best way to decide on a school. But what if you can’t visit? Or what if you don’t know which schools you want to see? You need a college fair!

Every fall, the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) hosts a number Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs. At these fairs you will find admissions counselors from most of the major schools of music around the US. They will have information about their school and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Here are a few tips to make the most of a college fair:

Come Prepared

  • Before the fair, make a short list of schools that you are most interested in visiting
  • Make a list of questions that you wish to ask at each school
  • Print a sheet of labels with your information (name, address, phone, email, instrument, year of graduation). These will make filling out cards requesting more information very fast and will also guarantee accuracy.

Come With An Open Mind

After you have stopped at your top choices, it is likely you will have some time left. Look around and see if there are other schools that you had not originally considered. You already have a list of questions to ask; sometimes a school will surprise you.

When I was looking at schools, I used to keep a list of questions by my phone. There was a time when I got a call from a small school and I ran down my list of questions. I was so impressed by their answers that I visited the school. Guess where I decided to attend!

Remember, you are not committing to anything, just getting ready for the choices ahead.

Make An Impression

It’s OK to stand out. You don’t need to be over the top, but if you come prepared and have thoughtful questions, we are more likely to remember you when you apply.

Throughout the next month, both Joyce and I will be traveling around the country. You can see the list of fairs we will be at below (click on the link for times and locations). Please come out and say “Hi”. I will also be posting on this blog about my travel experiences and introducing you to some of the other schools on the road.


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