On March 25th, hundreds of students from throughout the region will join Episcopal sophomores and juniors for the Fourth Annual Episcopal College Fair. This year’s fair will include nearly 50 universities, including MIT and other elite institutions. But what exactly happens at a college fair? Here are four things the Episcopal College Counseling team says students can expect.
1. Case Studies.
Before the actual fair kicks off in the Main Gym, juniors and their parents are invited to participate in college application case studies. Students will be divided into small groups where they will role play the part of a mock college selection committee member. They will review mock applications and determine who should be accepted, who should be wait-listed and who should be denied admission. College Counseling Assistant Director Shandi Fazley says the experience helps students understand the various components of a completed application. She says students discover that everything from the application essay to letters of recommendation play a part in this holistic review of their educational experience.
The experience is not solely for students. Fazley says parents also have the opportunity to participate in a case study. The adults are divided into larger parent groups and review mock applications in a similar fashion. The hope among the college counselors is that this discovery process will generate conversation among families as they begin to really consider the college application and selection process before them.
2. Meet-and-greet with college representatives
After four years, the Episcopal College Fair has established itself among university recruiters, with the event expanding each year. An exciting new addition to this year’s participants is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where 2017 Episcopal graduate Charvi Gopal is currently studying. Other notable university recruiters will be on hand from Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University, Rhodes College and Wesleyan University. (See below for a list of confirmed 2018 College Fair participants.)
Fazley says a college fair is a perfect opportunity for students to visit with representatives from schools they may have never considered. She says because the atmosphere is casual, students can discuss the basics with school representatives, including everything from the university’s top programs to the type of extracurricular student activities offered. Oftentimes, this can lead to surprising connections for students and they may even discover the college of their dreams.
3. Connect with students from throughout the region
The secret to the success of the Episcopal College Fair is the partnerships that have been forged with other schools. Episcopal partners with the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Cristo Rey School Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools and regional Episcopal schools for the event. Fazley says this type of collaboration provides students an opportunity to connect with students from other schools through a common experience – the college search and application process. Students find common ground as they contemplate the admissions essays or discuss which university they would like to attend. This also helps students understand that competition for admission into the college of their choice can be intense and inspires them to do their best when applying. In addition, working with other schools has proven to be a great way to ensure the strength of the fair. More and more universities elect to participate thanks to the large number of student attendees and the diversity of their backgrounds.
4. Begin the college selection process.
The annual college fair is hosted each spring to jumpstart the college application and selection process for juniors. After meeting with university representatives at the event, students and parents formulate plans for school visits in the summer or early fall. Fazley says whether it’s meeting with the recruiters, connecting with the other students or collecting college-branded materials, the fair always seems to light the fire within students as their thoughts of attending college become much more tangible.
A college fair experience is an exciting opportunity to explore the endless possibilities that await students post-graduation. The Fourth Annual Episcopal College Fair is set for March 25th from 1:30 pm to 5 pm. Case studies, for juniors and their parents, will take place prior to the fair beginning in the VPAC lobby and the fair will be held in the Main Gym afterwards. For more information on this year’s event contact Shandi Fazely at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Attending Institutions