Graduate School Goes Virtual – Even the Tours

Although the future of in-person events is uncertain because of the pandemic, many schools are adapting to the “new normal” by transitioning to virtual graduate school fairs. This may sound like a disadvantage, but there are a lot of benefits to virtual tours. Use these three tips to get the most out of your graduate school fairs.

Be open-minded and explore as many virtual graduate school fairs as you can.

One of the great advantages of completely online fairs is that you can explore as many as you like, without the hassle and cost of traveling to each school. This allows you to take a more in-depth look at programs you may have otherwise lacked the time or resources to investigate. Some schools have even drastically lowered or eliminated attendance fees for their online fairs, giving you the freedom to expand your list of schools instead of having to prioritize a select few.

Do your research before signing up for the graduate degree fair.

You don’t want to go to a school fair without first learning everything you can about the institution or the resources they have to offer. Make sure you are conducting your research and generating questions that will help you get a better idea of what it would be like to earn your graduate degree from that school. Having a list of questions ready will ensure that you don’t forget to ask anything important during the fair, and that you gather consistent and comparable information from each program. Virtual fairs require a proactive approach, so be ready to reach out to multiple people during the event to get all of the answers you need.

Make an appointment with the graduate school’s advising office.

A virtual graduate school fair may seem impersonal and making connections with admissions officers is much harder when you can’t just walk up to a booth and start asking questions. However, you can set up a private appointment with a school’s advising office and talk to someone one-on-one to help answer any questions you may have and connect you to other important departments you might be interested in speaking to. This resource from USC includes pointers for talking to admissions counselors at graduate school fairs.

When considering where to earn your graduate degree, school fairs can be a great help. They provide a lot of important information about the school’s programs, resources, and financial aid options. Virtual graduate school fairs will be the norm for months to come, and may even become permanent, so now is the perfect time to adapt and learn how to use them to your advantage.