High turnout for Stillwater’s college fair
March 17, 2016
Voice Over: Dylan Foster Writer: Nick Carlson Camera/Video Editor: Jimmy Thomson
Stillwater Area High School hosted one of the largest college fairs in the Midwest in the gym. The fair featured over 110 different post secondary schools, and offered a range of opportunities for every kind of student. The College Fair occurred on March 8, and it hosted both two and four year colleges, military organizations, and professional schools. All of the schools came from a variety of locations within the five state Midwest area. Stillwater was another stop on the tour of regional College Fairs that occurred throughout Minnesota. The fair was completely free for students that registered for the fair, and the students were welcome to stay for as much or as little as they desired.
With the wide range of choices and options out there for students to choose from, picking a future college can be overwhelming. The College Fair provided an opportunity for students of all kinds to become more informed about post secondary education options, as well as meet directly with school representatives. This gave students a potential leg up on other future applicants in the selection process. The leg up was that a college representative would visually see and experience the students interest in their school, as well as learn about them as a person. The experience of the College Fair provided an essential resource to enhance good planning and research about what school is going to be the best fit for the student.
The College Fair gave students the chance to have their college questions answered, both big and small. With the variety of options that the fair had to offer, there was an answer for anyone’s question. Students were encouraged to reach out to the representatives of schools of interest, and ask them the questions they had been dying to know. The Fair staff made sure the students were involved, and helped students get their questions answered by getting the ball rolling for them. The staff gave out brochures filled with helpful informative potential questions to ask colleges. Every available opportunity at the fair was encouraged to be taken, and students were provided the resources to properly take the opportunities given.
Amy Carr from the College and Career Center said, “It’s just a great opportunity for them [Students] to go talk to colleges that they’re interested in, and to go find out what is it that they’re going to need. Do they need to take a language? How many years do they need to take?… A lot of questions that they will be able to answer.”
The National Honors Society (NHS) helped put the event together, because they understand the huge advantage it is to host our own College Fair. NHS students understood the difficulty that comes along with picking a college, and were excited about the availability of the College Fair. The opportunity to learn new information about potential colleges is something that lots of senior NHS members missed. With the encouragement and help from fellow peer NHS members, it encouraged fair goers to attend even more. NHS members like senior officer Mary Norkol felt that by exploring options, students could learn a lot about themselves, and what students may want for a future.
Senior Mary Norkol explained, “If I’ve learned anything through my college search, it’s to learn as much as possible about as many colleges as possible. It sounds intimidating and overwhelming, but you could end up liking something you didn’t expect.”
The College Fair’s convenience for students made it a must go for many students. By having such a wide range of school exploration opportunities within a very close distance of students homes, makes college research much easier. Instead of potentially driving several hours to explore a college, the fair gave students a chance to get information about a school without being limited to going online. The internet may provide a vast amount of information about a school, but being able to face to face talk to a representative can do so much more than a website could.
Junior Mason Bartosh said, “It’s close to home, and very convenient being held in such a big place, a lot of colleges are able to participate which is huge.”
Norkol concluded, “I think the college fair helps kids start to narrow down their ‘must haves’ and ‘can’t stands’ when it comes to choosing a college. It’s really beneficial to talk to a representative from the college because they’re more likely to be honest, instead of just trying to sell their school which is what happens in the websites oftentimes.”