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How to Prepare for the College Fair and Find the Right Fit: By Maggie Kennon ’17

What do Berkeley College, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Cobleskill, University of Tampa, and Villanova University have in common? They will all be at the Kennedy Catholic college fair this Thursday! This is an amazing opportunity for sophomores and juniors to get a first impression of many schools. In total, forty-six schools will be in attendance to answer all of the students’ questions. Some of the attending  schools are even located as far away as California and Florida! With the right tips and guidance, students will be able to make the most out of this great opportunity.

We, as a school, really appreciate all that our guidance team does for us as we work our way through the steps of our college search. I personally found Mrs. Gerrity’s email, “College Fair Tips for Students” very helpful and suggest that my fellow classmates also read it. In addition to Mrs. Black and Mrs. Gerrity’s pointers, here are some other things to consider:
  • Students should try to research some of the colleges before going to the college fair. This can be done easily by looking at their website. It may also help you form questions to ask yourself, such as:
  • Which schools offer the majors you are interested in?
  • Do you know if you want a large or small school?  City campus or something in the country?  -Does the school have the sports you are interested? How about clubs?
  • Do you want to stay close to New York, a train ride away or are you thinking of going farther away from home? California perhaps?
  • Is it important to you that the school is Catholic? Did you check out their Newman society or club? There are close to 200 Catholic colleges and universities in the USA. Some are Franciscan, others are Jesuit, Dominican, Augustinian, Congregation of Holy Cross or Diocese run.
In addition to asking yourself many questions, be sure to ask the college representatives questions. One great topic  to ask the reps about is the retention rate, which is the percentage of freshmen that return for their sophomore year. This can help indicate if the students are happy at that school. Always take the materials offered by the colleges, being as there may not be enough time to speak to each college rep individually. It also gives you something to review after the fair.
 
Things to consider after the Fair:
  • 
Which colleges were memorable for you? Jot down some notes as to why.
  • Organize the colleges that were interesting and prepare to learn more information about them. You should sign up for their mailing list. Perhaps you may even want to plan a visit to the school.
  • 
If you have not done so already, make a file for all your college information. It does not have to be fancy, an old copy paper box will do, but keep things in one place so you can refer back to them. Don’t forget, you will be involved in this college search next year too.
Applying for college is an intimidating task. However, it is not impossible, the current seniors have already started to wear sweatshirts of the school they will be attending, proving that this task is well worth the effort. In addition to these fairs, we have a great Guidance Department that will be with us every step of the way. So don’t despair! The right college for each of us is out there somewhere, and the spring college fair is a great way to start finding that school. Before you know it, you will be one of those senior students proudly wearing your college sweatshirt.
 
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
- Saint Augustine

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