The Fair is in Town: Northside’s Annual Joint College Fair
By Alison Murr
Packing the gymnasium, lunchroom, and second floor atrium, Northside students, along with students from Von Steuben and Disney II High School, joined together for Northside’s annual joint college fair. On Tuesday, March 5, students had the chance to meet with representatives from over 140 colleges as well as various gap year programs. Multiple types of colleges were in attendance, including Big Ten schools, Ivy League schools, state schools, and community colleges.
Students were able to sign up before the fair on the StriveScan website, and were sent a unique QR code. Representatives were able to scan the barcodes, showing the college all of the information that the student had entered about themselves when signing up. Within 24 hours of the QR code being scanned, students received an email containing information about the colleges who scanned their code. The email included the college name, address, phone number, and email address of the representative from the table.
There was not enough time for students to go around to every table and ask questions, but most colleges had set out pamphlets with basic information which students could grab in passing. Students who talked to the representatives were able to gain valuable insight into each college and discover their unique qualities. “At first it was really stressful, because this was meant to help me decide where I was going to spend my life after Northside, but the people there were really receiving and were okay with any questions we had. It was really successful at making me feel more secure about post-graduation life, and I liked that the people there were able to make me feel welcome and accepted,” said Anthony Ceballos, Adv. 007.
Ms. Moore, Northside’s college counselor, when asked about the success of the college fair, said, “The fair was a success based on feedback I received from college representatives. The representatives stated that students were prepared and asked great questions. Parents also appreciated all of the information they received about colleges prior to the fair.” Ms. Moore attributed the success of the college fair not only to the counseling department, but to all those who helped make the fair happen, including students, Friends of Northside, and CPS’ expansion of post-secondary programs. Compared to the previous year, there were more representatives from gap year programs, job training programs, and military recruitment. “I would say it was an overall success and that we had large participation numbers from all three high schools,” said Mr. Hughes. Compared to the previous year, student participation more than doubled. This year, over 400 students attended, compared to an estimated 175 last year. “I was very happy with the college fair,” said Ms. Matthews, “It was a nice way to jump into the college process.”
Students may not have gotten a chance to talk with every college, but overall, everyone went home satisfied. "The Northside college fair gave me a chance to really see all of the options I had in front of me. I got to get informed about the schools and programs I was interested in and got to meet the people who might determine my entrance or scholarship acceptance. [The college fair is] a great event to dive into the college process and make valuable connections,” said Josh Guinazzo, Adv. 001. With over 140 colleges to discover and talk to, every student was able to find at least one school that catered to their interests and passions.