Welcome to the College Fair
May 2, 2018
With the sun setting in the background, students entering the Del Mar Fairgrounds felt flashes of nostalgia as their minds wandered towards memories of ice cream and roller coaster filled summer days.
However, last Wednesday, April 25, students changed their attitudes as they walked into the fairgrounds suddenly feeling determined, not relaxed (or hey, maybe a bit of both).
The annual College Fair for prospective students began at 6:00 and ran until 8:30pm. Students and parents from various local high schools milled about a large auditorium interacting with admissions officers from both in-state, out-of-state, and out of country colleges. The fair is an easy way for students to learn about various colleges and have their questions answered on the spot.
Though yes, the event is designed to specifically help students with their college search process, there’s another side to the story. Admission officers too have a voice to be heard when they themselves walk into the college fair. Coming away from the night, a common trend had emerged between the college representatives, this being their shared experience as San Diego natives themselves.
This insight gives the admissions officers a unique connection to students here in San Diego, Emily Wright, the local representative from University of Oregon said, “I live locally, so I get to know the school populations and get to work with these students and counselors a lot, I really love connecting with students and their families and answering all of their questions along the way.”
Each interviewed admissions officer had their own technique to deciding how to answer students questions, yet the underlying thread between each response was that a shared bond with students through close geographic proximity helps with a sense of understanding for where the questions stem from. Representative Philip Lee from the University of Utah smiled as he said, “Talking to San Diego students is really easy… I remember what it was like to be apply to schools and to be thinking about all these kind of different options… So I try to put myself in their shoes and try to understand what questions that they would have that I would be able to answer for them.”
The high school students that attended the event were given knowledge of the night through their individual high schools. Though it was a large activity for students to receive information on, it was not advertised to every school in the region- rather only 10. Washington State University representative, Sara Fiksdal said, “So I live in San Diego, I am what we call a regional admissions counselor, so all the schools that were invited here tonight are in my top ten for applications. So I have been to all of these high school’s, I have been working with all of your counselors…”
In the end, the night turned out to be an overall informative session where brochures were passed about, business cards were dispersed, and students were given a taste of the college search experience.