Getting to Know Colleges: Web Research and College Fairs

Web Research

A school's website should be your first stop in the college search process. Every school will maintain a website which will contain information about their campus, educational system, student life, and application process. All you need is an internet connection, and you’re learning about different colleges straight from the source.

School websites contain basic details about classes, majors, and professors. For your time out of class, websites will usually offer information about student organizations, school traditions, and campus life. The internet offers additional opportunities to engage with a school, including email contact information for the admissions office, the ability to schedule campus tours or visits online, and social media.

Social Media

Many schools can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Tumblr. If you prefer to learn about a school through social media, you should think about subscribing or following your favorite schools. If you ever have questions during the application process, always check the website as your first source of up-to-date correct information.

Meeting School Representatives Near You

Many admissions counselors travel in the fall, visiting high schools and offering presentations to students and parents. These visits are an excellent opportunity to ask questions and learn what sorts of programs and activities each school offers. You might also receive an invitation to a presentation by multiple schools that all have something in common, giving you a chance to efficiently get a glimpse of several colleges at once. Though most of these events take place in the fall, keep an eye out for presentations throughout the year.

Admissions counselors also visit many high schools each fall. If you are able to attend college visits to your high school, this can be a convenient way to learn about them in person, and a setting in which you can ask questions face-to-face. Don’t count on a school you’re interested in visiting your high school, but, just like visiting the campus of any college near you, attending a visit from any college can really help you start to familiarize yourself with the application process and start you thinking about what matters to you in picking a college.

College Fairs

College fairs, events where many different schools each have an informational booth, can be a little hectic, but can also be a way of getting a brief impression of a broad range of different types of school. They’re not always the best venue for in-depth discussion or questions, though, so feel free to contact schools that have caught your attention afterward for more information.

For more information about making the most of your college fair experiences, read Navigating a College Fair.

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