The JWU Online graduate admissions team hit the road reccently attend the Idealist Graduate School Fair in Boston, Massachusetts. The event was held at Boston University, where the hall was decked out with a sea of brightly colored table banners covered with institutional branded knick-knacks and perfectly aligned rows of pens.
Students filed in and walked table to table in a speed-dating-like fashion in hopes of finding the perfect fit among the nearly 200 graduate programs represented.
One young woman strolled by the JWU Online table, seeming to linger as she read our banner. I asked a very simple question, which brought a smile to her face as if she just had some kind of epiphany.
“What kind of program are you looking for?” I asked to initiate the conversation.
“I don’t know,” she replied with a smile.
Eureka! Someone who was still trying to figure it out...
This student knew she wanted to go back to school but had not quite figured out how. The Idealist Fair, a gathering of some of the best colleges, universities, and graduate programs in the country, was perfect for her. The seemingly shy woman quickly launched into her plan to finish her undergraduate degree and then travel abroad while pursuing her master’s degree online.
“It sounds like you have it more figured out than you think…” I informed her with a grin.
If you’re planning to attend a college fair—or are just trying to figure out exactly what kind of graduate program is the right fit for you—consider these four tips.
1. Make a plan.
If you’re attending a fair—either one hosted by your school or a bigger event like Idealist—try to find out which schools are attending ahead of time. Are there any schools on your shortlist? The Boston Idealist Fair included almost 200 institutions. When you’re faced with this type of opportunity, it is important to have a plan.
2. Know what you want.
You might not know which program you want or type of degree to pursue, but you should know what you want to accomplish. Knowing this can help a school’s representative suggest programs to meet your professional goals. Also, think ahead of time of your learning method. Are you on the fence about online versus on-campus? Reflect on your schedule and picture yourself getting to campus once a week. Do you think it will be a challenge? Online might be for you.
3. Ask the obvious questions.
How much is the application? What is the total tuition? How long will the program take to complete? What is it like to learn online? If you have never been to graduate school or have never taken a class online, there are no obvious answers. Make sure to ask the questions that mean the most to you.
4. Leave your information.
Yes, you will get emails and phone calls from these schools. However, this will keep grad school top of mind for you and help you to maintain a relationship with a point-of-contact.
Good luck as you search for and, ultimately, find the perfect graduate school. Don’t hesitate to ask your JWU Online admissions associate any questions you have. We want to help you make an informed decision about graduate school.
Reach out today to learn how you can start on your degree: call 855-JWU-1881 or email [email protected]. You can also fill out the “Request Info” form on this page.