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College Open House Tips

One of the best things you can do when considering colleges is go to their open houses. These programs are designed to allow potential students to learn about the school they may be attending. These are low-pressure events, and can help you make your college decision!

From start to finish, here's what you need to know about open houses:

Learn About the Open House

No open house is exactly the same as another. Before you attend, you need to find out the structure of the event. Is it going to be a formal, structured program or more of a come-and-go event? Some open houses also require pre-registration, so be sure to pay attention to any event details and don't be afraid to contact the school if you need clarification.

Do Your Research

Once you know what kind of event you are attending, do some research about who will be at the event. If faculty are attending, prepare any questions you may have about your major, program and classes. If you'll be able to meet with an advisor, be sure to be ready with questions about how they'll work with you as a student. 

Arrive early

On the day of the event, try to arrive early. If it is a structured event with a formal program, this will help ensure you don't miss any important information. If the event is more casual, arriving early (or even right at the start of the event) will make it more likely that you'll have the ability to speak with anyone from the school one-on-one. 

Talk to representatives from the college

In addition to faculty and advisors, there may also be staff from the admissions and financial aid departments at the open house. Talking to them is your chance to get answers to your questions about the college process. Don't be shy about asking for information about the application and registration processes, financial aid and scholarships and the overall cost of attendance. 

Learn about the location

Open houses are a great time to learn more about the physical location of the college. Get any information you can about where classes are held, where administrative offices are located and where other resources are available. 

Ask about your program

Even if you don't know exactly what you want to study, it's still worth the time to ask about programs you may be interested in. Be sure to ask about the requirements of the program as well as any non-classroom components, like clinicals or practicums. 

Get contact information

Depending on how busy the open house event is, you may not have a chance to talk to everyone you'd like, or for as long as you'd like. Collect any materials provided that has contact information for the school as well as any faculty and staff who were at the event. If you find you have additional questions, you'll be able to contact them directly.

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