College Fair Overview


The purpose of a college night (or a college day program) is to give a large number of students, parents, and guidance counselors the chance to talk with college representatives and to be placed on college mailing lists. Many of these programs are regional, drawing students from several high schools; some are simply single-school programs. Bates is invited to over 500 college nights and fairs each year. We are delighted that dozens of alumni represent Bates.

In many cases, the college night is the first contact that a prospective student has with a college.

You are a resource person. It is vital for you to read the viewbook. Feel free to read some selections from the latest course catalog on line at You do not need exhaustive knowledge of Bates today, but a solid general knowledge of Bates will be helpful. It is, in large part, the impression that you project that will remain with the student. Talk about your own Bates experience.  Encourage these students to come to Bates and see us for themselves.


  1. Arrive at least 30 minutes early to give yourself time to “set up.” Display your materials in an attractive fashion on the table or desks provided and place “Please Do Not Remove” stickers on the books (viewbook and catalog.) You may give the material away at the end of the fair.
  2. Please do not mail the inquiry cards back to us individually.  Use the postage-paid envelope we supply.  Return the cards and the table banner as soon as possible so that we may begin follow-up with interested students.
  3. Please take a few minutes to fill out the evaluation form. It should be mailed with the inquiry cards or you may fill it out on-line.


  1. Speak about Bates. Do not compare colleges (certainly, no negative remarks about other schools). Be especially careful to avoid comparing Bates and our “competition” (Bowdoin, Middlebury, Colby, Williams, Dartmouth, Amherst, Tufts, etc.). We are different from other colleges, not better. Talk about the defining qualities of Bates.
  2. Use anecdotes. If you have a chance to chat with interested students in a relatively calm environment, talk about your experiences or those of your Bates friends. Stress opportunities and exploration.
  3. Feel free to ask your adjoining representative any questions you may have. If the fair is very slow, browse if you like — it is good training to see what others do and say.
  4. There is a short list of facts inside the viewbook cover.  We also encourage you to explore the Admission pages of the Bates web site, including our student blogs.