7pm–The doors of the Terry Center burst open, revealing endless rows of colorful tables staffed by enthusiastic representatives. Students and families were pouring into the building, a night of informative flyers, free pens, and SAT-score-anxiety had begun! On Tuesday, September 12, the Jesuit campus was home to the annual college fair, with nearly 240 colleges and universities. Additionally, other Catholic high schools such as Ursuline, John Paul II, and Bishop Lynch joined the Jesuit community for this informative night.
Wandering around from table to table, the chaos of the college application process excited many prospective applicants. “I thought it was a great opportunity to learn about new colleges outside of your previous view,” remarked one enthusiastic junior. In fact, the colleges fair had a worldwide reach, as universities from all over the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and even France were in attendance.
The purpose of the fair was simply to introduce Jesuit students to a broader range of colleges and universities outside of their previously defined view. Likewise, students already familiar with specific colleges were able to get valuable time talking with college representatives. In the admissions process, in person conversations with representatives can show the all important ‘expressed interest,’ another important aspect of applications. Another junior likewise noted that “It was a meaningful experience, I got to learn about some colleges I am interested in.”
However, some students did not appreciate the heaps of informative brochures: “It wasn’t that helpful as I was just wondering around not knowing the names of any of these colleges, and it felt as though the information I was getting could be found online,” commented an honest junior after his experience.
With a printed guide map of all the college locations within Jesuit, students were free to wander the campus, exploring the vast variety of colleges. “It was cool that they were able to send reps from so many colleges from around the country to one place,” added a prospective college applicant. “I could get a taste of colleges from all over.”
In the sea of colorful tables, trying to get a feel of the main characteristics of each college was like speed-dating: a quick chat with the rep and lots of quick facts before continuing on to the next table. Typical questions were: how big is your school? where is it located? and what are the most popular majors? Concise, but helpful, the conversations with college representatives brought new insights to Jesuit students. “I learned a lot about the application process and the specific degree programs at the schools I’m interested in,” commented another student.
In addition, more in depth informational sessions were hosted in classrooms and Hughes Hall by The University of Texas, Auburn, and Notre Dame. These larger presentations were completely full, as students learned about the application process at some of the most popular larger universities.
Ultimately, whether a student briefly chatted with all the reps, or had a focused conversation with only a few, college night served its greater purpose: to expand students exposure to the options in their hectic college search.