College fairs are a fantastic way to scope out potential schools and make valuable connections before you even set foot on campus. It’s like speed dating for your college career, but without all the awkwardness!
But with many college fairs canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, finding your college soulmate can be tricky these days. The good news? Although in-person college fairs are mostly off the table this year, virtual college fairs are hotter than ever. A few organizations and companies — ahem, like yours truly ? — have developed online platforms that create the experience of a virtual college fair by matching students with colleges based on mutual interests.
Ready to get your virtual college fair on? Sign up for a Ping event today.
So, let’s say that you decide to sign up for a virtual college fair. What can you expect? How can you make the most of your virtual college fair experience? And, most importantly, do you need to wear pants? Tallo is here to break it all down.
Do Your Research
Just like in-person college fairs, virtual college fairs typically have a variety of institutions participating in the event. Depending on the college fair you choose to attend, you could find yourself browsing through a handful of vocational schools, community colleges, four-year institutions, and liberal arts colleges.
To make the most of your virtual college fair experience, do your research before you join the event. Make a shortlist of colleges you’re interested in applying to and check to see if any of them will be participating in the virtual college fair so you can seek them out first.
Related Reading: How to Apply for College
Prepare a List of Questions for College Reps
Once you know which schools will be attending the event, start working on a list of questions to ask college reps. Try to avoid asking them anything that can you find through Google. This is your opportunity to ask about things that you can’t find easy answers for, like which bachelor’s degree programs the school is best known for or where students like to hang out in their free time.
Don’t be shy about asking questions! Most college reps genuinely enjoy talking to prospective students about the school and their future college careers.
One more tip: Be sure to ask college and university reps about their financial aid opportunities such as college scholarships, grants, and work-study. We mean, you gotta pay for school somehow, right?
Get Ready for Some ‘Pings’
We know what you’re thinking: WTH are ‘pings?’ If you’ve signed up for a virtual college fair event through Tallo’s Ping app (good choice, BTW), then you can send instant messages—aka, pings—to communicate with college representatives.
But get this: college reps can also send you pings and vie for YOUR attention.
This is a much different experience compared to in-person college fairs where students often crowd around the most popular college reps while others are forced to wait awkwardly on the sidelines. And if you’re the one to send the first “ping,” you can simply browse other colleges and watch their videos while you wait for a reply.
But First, Level Up Your Profile
Yet another huge perk of virtual college fairs — well, more specifically, the Ping app — is that you can be matched with college representatives based on your interests and goals, which gives you an excellent starting point for your conversations.
But before they ping you, they’ll probably peep into your profile to see what you’re all about. Make sure that you’re giving them a great first impression by jazzing up your profile!
- Upload Your Resume – College reps like to look at student resumes because they show what kind of student you are. Upload a brag-worthy resume that includes your most impressive extracurricular activities, including academic awards and volunteer work. If you aced your college entrance exams, it may not hurt to add those as well.
- Add a Profile Picture – This is your first impression, so make it good! We recommend choosing a picture that shows you doing something you love, like a special hobby or a sport.
- Write a Bio – Keep your bio short and sweet. What’s the most important thing to know about you? If you’re passionate about environmental change or love playing the violin, add it to your bio.
- Include Video – With Ping, you can add two short videos to your profile: an Intro video and an About Me video. Use both to show off your personality and grab the attention of college reps.
Pants Are Optional — But Strongly Recommended
Now, it’s time for the hard-hitting questions: Is it OK to go pants-free during a college fair or not?
TBH, it mostly depends on if you’re using video chat. If there is even a slight possibility that you’re going to be talking with recruiters and representatives on video chat, you should definitely wear pants.
Don’t think that they can see you from the waist down? That’s what the reporter who was caught without pants on live television thought, too. Just sayin’.
Taking College Fairs Online
Is it exciting to attend a college fair in person? For sure. But a virtual college fair offers an amazing opportunity to connect with colleges and universities from across the country, all within the comfort and safety of your own home. Take advantage!