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College Fair Training

  • Many high schools and colleges schedule College Day or Night programs during the fall and spring of each school year. These programs offer parents and students opportunities to meet college representatives from a variety of colleges and universities in one evening. When one of our professional staff is unable to attend a college fair, or if they need help, the CARE coordinator will call and see if you are able to attend the program in your area.

    Even though you may only speak to a small handful of prospective students while manning a table at a college fair, it is important for Capital to have visibility at these events.

    What is a college fair?

    Each college representative is given a table (usually 4-8 feet in length) to stand behind for 1 ½ to 2 hours during the fair. Students and parents move about picking up literature from colleges of interest. They may stop to speak to you about Capital or they may just pick up the materials offered on your table.

    Capital will not reimburse for your mileage or money spent (food, parking, etc.) while attending a college fair. Most college fairs offer free snacks and beverages and most will not charge you for parking.

    How do I get the materials needed for the fair?

    The CARE coordinator will mail you the items to be placed on your table at the college fair. The items will include the following:


    • A copy of the invitation to the college fair with time, location, directions, parking, etc.
    • Capital University tablecloth (to be returned to Capital)
    • 10 minute training video
    • Information cards that students may fill out and leave with you or mail at a later time
    • Travel pieces (colorful brochure students can take home with them)
    • Pens
    • Quick facts to help you through the program
    • Your name tag
    • An evaluation of the college fair to return to the CARE coordinator
    • A postage paid return envelope (for tablecloth, video, information cards and evaluation to be returned to the CARE coordinator)

    You will receive this package prior to the college fair. If you do not receive this package, please call the Capital University CARE coordinator at least 2 business days prior to the event.

    At the College Fair 

    • Plan to arrive at least half an hour early. This will give you plenty of time to find the table reserved for Capital University as well as grab refreshment and set up your materials. Some fairs offer dinner or snacks prior to the fair. Plus you’ll get a parking spot close the high school or college where the fair is held.
    • Materials can be displayed any way that is pleasing to the eye. Students are more inclined to take materials if there are numerous copies available on the table as well as neatly arranged.
    • Our professional rules state that you must remain behind the table when talking with students and parents. Talk with students individually as they approach the table. Some will be very talkative while others will not. Do not pressure the student into having a conversation. Use your best judgement as to when to approach a student or parent.
    • If the student fills out an information card, please make sure it is legible. If not, please ask for clarification while they are still at your table. Filling out this card ensures the student they will receive the appropriate information and they will be put on our mailing list.

    What do I wear or say while I am at the college fair? 


    • Dress appropriately. Most college representatives will wear typical office attire – men in coat and tie, women in dresses or skirts. If you have a well-maintained Capital University sweatshirt or polo shirt, you may wear this. Please no t-shirts or blue jeans.
    • High-pressure sales pitches usually turn a student or parent off. Approach the student genuinely, in a relaxed nature. You are not there to pressure the student into coming to Cap. You are there to provide information and spark the interest on the student.
    • Never make an assumption that a prospective student is admissible. This decision is made by the admission staff at Capital. You may complement the student on high test scores, high achievement and involvement, etc., and encourage the student to apply.
    • Avoid negative comparisons with other schools. It is unethical and will only reflect poorly on Cap. If Cap doesn’t offer a program the student may desire, and you know of another college/university that offers that specific program, it is appropriate to mention that to the student. Your job is to see if Cap is the right fit for that student.
    • Don’t be afraid to say, “ I don’t know the answer to that question.” There will be some questions you clearly will not be able to answer. If the student asks a question and he/she really needs an answer, please make a note on their information card and reassure them an admission counselor will get back with them by phone or e-mail. Give out our toll free number as well to the student (1-866-544-6175).

    What if I can’t attend the college fair that I have already committed to attend?

    Please contact Capital University as soon as you know you cannot make it to the fair. Even if you get lost on the way to the fair and never make it, please call and let us know so we may call the host school and apologize for the no-show. CALL 1-866-544-6175. If you can give us a fair notice that you cannot attend, we still may have time to find a replacement or at least call the host school and let them know Capital University will not be in attendance.

    The College Fair is over - what now? 


    • Fill out and turn in the high school’s evaluation form if the host school provides one for you. You may leave this at your table as you leave the fair and someone will pick it up.
    • Once you are home, immediately return the information cards, training video, tablecloth, and evaluation to the CARE coordinator in the postage paid large envelope. The tablecloths are used for other CARE members for other college fairs so a prompt return is greatly appreciated. You may hold onto the materials left over from the fair. You may be asked to attend another college fair in the area or may have an opportunity to give some information away to students you meet outside of a college fair.