By Becky Cox
This Monday, the Junior and Senior class will be attending a college fair at Hastings College. Like most fairs, students will see schools from all over Nebraska and some neighboring states.
Some students have never been to a college fair so here’s what to expect:
Booths will be set up all around the room with at least one admissions counselor present. Every college will be handing out pamphlets with different programs and information. If you’re interested in one of the colleges, you can wait to actually talk to the counselor to get some extra information. However be warned, there will be lots of people and it can get a little hectic. Mr. Hubl advises, “ Use this time wisely.”
Use this time to ask questions, even if you don’t plan on attending that school. Figure out what’s important to you. Do you want to see what Greek life can be like and what are some college traditions? Maybe you’re cautious about school and want to know about security and what healthcare is provided. Some kids want to go to diverse colleges, or even somewhere they can study abroad. Go into this with an open mind.
There are some questions every student should ask. Money is always a huge issue, so it is always good to learn about scholarships, fees, and if your credits will transfer. Will you want to live on campus? Does the college have employment opportunities for students? Not many high schoolers think to ask about how many students actually return after freshman year, which can be a huge giveaway on how hard the schooling will be. Every student should expect a challenge though.
According to Mr. Hubl, more often than not, students who were at the top of their class in high school will have studying problems before a student of lower rank. This is because college might be the first time those students experience a major challenge. Find a college that can help with this if you think you’ll need it. Some schools offer study groups and tutors. Most meet in groups but one-on-one is an option in some places.
While speaking to colleges, keep thinking of questions in the back of your head. Some of the most important things for students to remember often get forgotten in all the hustle. Make sure the college is a proper size for you, don’t push too far out of your comfort zone. Think about different forms of financial aid. Most importantly, will you enjoy yourself there? Everyone should get the right amount of fun and schooling.
College is a huge part of life, if you choose to attend. Make sure you choose the right school for your key interests.