Open House/College Fairs

You have Google, websites, college rankings—so why take the time to attend a college open house? In a word: experience. Please take the time to view the link below for New Jersey and neighboring State Open Houses!

Open Houses

The New Jersey School Counselor Association provides up to date Open House information on New Jersey Colleges and Universities as well as schools in NY, PA, MD, DE, DC and VA. If you don't see your school listed check its respective website.

Open house is different from a campus tour because it gives you access to faculty, staff, students and alumni who are available to answer questions during breakout information sessions (and you'll still get to tour campus).

Open House College Fairs

Even if you “know” you want to attend a particular school, here are 21 reasons why you should go to an open house! (provided by Bentley University)

1. Get Comfortable

Go with your gut when visiting campus. Seeing a school from so many different angles — from professors to food to facilities to dorms to financial aid—will give you a feel for whether or not it's a place where you can be happy, in and out of the classroom.

2. Meet Future Classmates . . . and Friends

Open house is a great way to start getting to know the people with whom you'll be living and learning. These could be your future classmates, roommates and friends. Use the time to talk to other attendees and get a sense for the diversity and personalities of students interested in attending the school.

3. Check Out the Digs

Touring residence halls is the perfect opportunity to check out your future home — and it makes planning what to bring to campus in the fall a whole lot easier.

4. Explore Your Passions

One of the most challenging aspects of college is choosing a major — even if you think you already know what you want to do. Faculty representing several majors and minors will be on hand to tell you why they love what they do, and how you can select the major that's the best fit for you.

5. Look Beyond the Classroom

Find out how you can take advantage of internships, service-learning and study abroad to create an education that's relevant in the real world. Hands-on learning is a way to take what you're learning in the classroom into real, applied experiences.

6. Start Plotting Career Paths

How does the school prepare you for life after college? These are important questions to ask. Find out if they have a career center. Do they assist students in finding jobs? Can students use them as a resource years later?

7. Talk Numbers

If you have specific questions about your financial aid package, financial aid counselors might be there to answer them.

8. Check Out Student Organizations

From fashion to skydiving to table tennis, most schools have a wide variety of clubs and activities. Open house is a great time to learn more about them and possibly meet some student organizers.

9. Play With Technology

Many schools let you visit classrooms and labs during open house to start test-driving the actual equipment that will be available to you.

10. Meet Alumni

What happens to graduates once they leave the college? Sometimes alumni show up to open houses. Talk with graduates in various careers, and learn more about how you can tap into their expertise.

11. Talk Sports

Whether you want to play or just cheer on your favorite team, tour athletic facilities and chat with coaches and current athletes to find out about various programs.

12. Make Your Parents Happy

Parents often have an itinerary of activities just for them, including information sessions about the admissions and financial aid processes. The school will keep them busy while you go explore!

13. Get Some Face Time

We're not talking about your iPhone. Meeting a school's faculty and staff is a way to show that you're interested. Put a face to your application.

14. Learn the Real Deal

You'll have the chance to meet current students who will tell you what it's really like to live on campus, attend class, play sports, eat in the dining halls. Ask, and they'll share.

15. Travel the World

Interested in studying abroad? Find out the different options available through the school's International Education program, which takes you outside of your element and allows you to challenge yourself in a whole new cultural context.

16. Go to the Head of the Class (room)

Are you looking for large lecture halls or smaller meeting spaces? Visit different classrooms to see the kinds of experiences you can expect.

17. Stock up on T-Shirts

During any open house downtime, head to the campus bookstore and start collecting the “required” T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, pens and other school merchandise. You and your family will want to show off your school spirit and get excited about your new home. And by getting it on campus, you save on shipping fees!

18. Get Cultural and Spiritual

Open up your eyes to different people, places, cultures, perspectives and faiths when you visit a college.

19. Check Out Your City (or Country) Side

Location, location, location. Living on a suburban campus has a very different vibe than a city or rural setting. Visit different campuses to find out which you prefer (each has its benefits).

20. Be Healthy

How will you stay healthy once you get to college? Find out what kind of resources and services are available to support you physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally.

21. Walk a Mile

Or in some cases two! Make sure you wear comfy shoes to any open house. Get a feel for the exercise you'll be getting as you walk from dorms to classes to dining halls to the athletics center.

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