Attending a Spring College Fair? Here’s How to Support Your High School Student


Sponsored by Wichita Collegiate School.

College fait in a high school gym

As a parent, the college search can be overwhelming. So many questions flood our minds – how will my student find the right school? How many schools should my student apply to? Will they get in? Can we afford it?

While the list of questions may seem endless, it’s important to remember your student is facing questions of their own. Every student will be ready to approach their college process at a different time and that’s okay! Some will be ready to talk about college as a freshman, while others may not be ready until junior year.

An easy way to introduce your student to the college search can be attending a college fair. These events often provide the convenience of being held locally, and the opportunity to visit with many institutions in the same evening. For students, a fair may be less intimidating than a formal campus visit.

Spring college fair season is upon us and there are two wonderful opportunities in Wichita on April 3. The Great Plains Association of College Admissions Counseling will host a daytime fair on April 3, 11 a.m. at Maize Career Academy and an evening fair at Wichita Collegiate School at 6 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the public. Check out a few of these tips to help your student maximize their college fair experience.  

thumbnail_Wichita - Spring GPACAC Fair 04-03-2024 Graphic - 2 (1)
thumbnail_Wichita - Spring GPACAC Fair 04-03-2024 Graphic - 1

#1 – Keep an Open Mind

Remind your student to keep an open mind about the name and type of institution. There is something to be learned from each conversation, and sometimes a school that a student has never heard of could be a great fit. Learning about new schools can ultimately help a student identify what is important to them in their future college home and feel more informed about their process. As a parent, be mindful of the way you speak about specific colleges as well. 

#2 – Provide the Right Amount of Support

As a parent, providing the right balance of support can be difficult. Think of your role as a “coach.” You don’t want to be overbearing in a process where your student needs to take ownership, but you also want your student to seek your guidance and support along the way. At a college fair this might mean letting your student take the lead by introducing themself and asking the questions. Refrain from taking over the conversation. This is your student’s chance to own their process! 

#3 – Do Prep Work and Follow Up

Help your child create a college fair strategy. Look at the colleges and universities attending in advance and prioritize where your student wants to visit. Do some research into the institutions ahead of time, so your student can ask more in-depth questions. If your student had a great conversation with a college representative or had additional questions, encourage them to get the rep’s information to send a follow up email or handwritten note. 

#4 – Debrief and Discuss 

After the fair ask your student what they thought of the experience. What schools piqued their interest, and why? Were there certain aspects of a school that they liked or disliked? As a parent, your job will be to listen and provide feedback, trying to avoid subjective comments or opinions. Remember, teenagers still look to their parents for approval and advice! 

College fairs are a great way to learn about many colleges and universities in one setting. To register for the GPACAC Wichita Fairs on April 3, visit

Sasha Kuchinski is the Associate Director of College Counseling at Wichita Collegiate School and member of the Great Plains Association of College Admissions Counseling.

She serves on multiple GPACAC committees, partnering with other college admissions professions to increase access and support to all students as they pursue post-secondary opportunities.  

Wichita Mom
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