COLLEGE FAIRS … “a student opportunity”

Just as the Class of 2019 closes the door on the college application journey, the Classes of 2020 and 21 open the door. Our school’s annual College Fairs are a first step in students realizing that the decision making about college choice comes sooner than they may want to realize.

Each year more than 100 college admission reps visit Archbishop Williams in the fall and the spring. Their job is to introduce students to the college they proudly represent and the college that just may be the perfect fit a student is looking for as they work toward a college degree. Williams is delighted to host colleges from the East to West coast and even Irish colleges have found their way to Independence Avenue. Guidance Counselor Perry Larking shares the value of the College Fair experience: “Fairs are important opportunities for our students because it provides for them the opportunity to speak with representatives from multiple colleges in one setting. This helps to make the college admissions process real and gives our students exposure to many colleges that they may have not considered before the fair. Also, colleges themselves begin to collect information from our students who stop by their display. All in all, the Fairs can set up a nice connection between a student and a school which can follow through the application process.” For Junior Angelica Clifford (Milton) the College Fair is a plus in familiarizing herself with the plethora of colleges to consider. Angelica appreciates that “My parents have already begun taking me on college tours. The Fair was interesting because I got to see so many colleges to consider in just one place. And I know it’s really helpful to get any information you can on as many colleges as possible.”

Although sophomores enjoy the notoriety of being at the top of underclassmen, they soon learn that the college process is down a very short road for them. With that in mind, sophomores now attend the Fair. The reasoning, Counselor Larkin explains, “is to expose sophomores to the wide variety of colleges they have to consider and with the increased popularity of early applications, the college process seems to begin earlier each year. The early attendance relieves some pressure to make immediate decisions. Sophomores are mostly “window shopping” and getting a sense of what is to come. It is a beginning for them and on another level helps to give the sophomores a sense that there is purpose and a goal to their academic effort.”

Xavier University Admissions Counselor Jason Cloutier, who has been an Admissions Counselor for more than 20 years, sees real value in the Fairs. He explains that “meeting students face to face is the first step in students determining if a college is a good fit. That contact and first conversation shows an interest. It gets to the “why” of selecting a college. Why Xavier? There’s real value in ignoring the bumper sticker on the car in front of you and digging deeper to a student finding their match.” Cloudier finds the biggest challenge for students at Archie’s is “challenging themselves to go outside of the NE bubble. Beyond the campus, what would living in Cincinnati, for example, or other cities or even rural areas contribute to their lives? College is more than just the classroom experience.”

AW Counselor Mr Ron Holmes sees the experience as an invaluable “ice-breaker”. He notes that “We have built strong relationships with many representatives and their interactions with our students benefit both AWHS and the respective colleges.”