Sophia Goldberg staff writer
With the tables organized in a ring, the college representatives and alumni from over 80 colleges stand ready to greet and converse with students and their parents.
This year’s College Connections Fair hosted 84 colleges and 10 college test prep centers on Beverly’s third floor patio on Monday, Oct. 12.
“It starts when I email our representatives and there is a national message board where we advertise this. So, it starts a few months back and we start asking people to come and then it’s a bunch of logistics involved,” Dean of College Admissions Ah Young Chi said.
With two workshops run by college planning specialists and counselors taking place in the College Center, students have many opportunities to learn about all things college. During the two workshops, students can learn about paying and saving for college tuition, and about finding the correct college for each individual student.
Junior Jennifer Sternshein believes that attending the College Connections Fair helped her decide about what type of college best suits her needs as she begins her search for the perfect fit.
“I wanted to gain a greater understanding of the different types of college available. By expanding my knowledge of the different colleges, it will definitely help me narrow down the colleges I would be interested in. I really enjoyed the experience,” Sternshein said.
While some students come to the college fair to begin searching for the perfect fit for them, others, like sophomore Victoria Han, come in order to gain important information about admissions processes that will help with all colleges.
“I chose to come to this college night because every piece of information that a college advisor gives you is important. These are key resources that set you to a better advantage when you’re looking and deciding which college to go to in the future and filling out your college applications. It’s your future and and you want to take good care of your future,” Han said.
Attending students, including junior Noah Lee, use this night as a resource to ask those who actually will read applications how to structure your application for each school.
“I went to College Connections Night to get more insight into the admissions process and gain knowledge about schools’ perspectives on factors of admission such as the essay, personal statement, test scores and more. In talking to the representatives, I found it especially helpful that each school had a unique and specific mindset and perspective on admissions. For example, the UW Madison representative suggested answering the question, ‘Why Wisconsin?’ while the University of Pennsylvania and Emory University representatives both encouraged authenticity and expressing yourself thoroughly in your personal statement. These pieces of advice will truly help me during my college admissions process,” Lee said.
Whatever the reason for attending the fair, Chi states that it will benefit students tremendously by just getting access to representatives that may be able to help in the near future.
“I think students that don’t attend are missing out, because coming to a college fair is not the same as going to the college, obviously, but you do get to meet a lot of the representatives who read your application. They also see that you made an effort to come, which always goes a long way. Sometimes, instead of reps that come, alumni come, and you can get a great insight on a student’s experience. I think it just brings a great layer to your search process, and helps you decide where you are going to go visit in the spring,” Chi said.