Suburban College Fair attracts almost 1800 people

Haleigh Miller

by Annie Nesbitt ’13, Contributor

A huge crowd of 1,798 people flocked to the Suburban College Fair on September 29, triple the number of people who have attended the fair in the past.  Held at Cincinnati Country Day School, the 10th Annual Suburban College Fair featured 180 different colleges. The fair was co-hosted by CCDS, The Seven Hills School, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, and The Summit Country Day School.

The mass attendance at the fair can be attributed to the Ohio Association of College Admissions Counselors’ decision to create a new rule.  As there were so many college fairs in the area, it was impossible for representatives to attend them all. The OACAC now requires that high schools must form a consortium in order to have college fairs. In accordance to this new rule, Cincinnati Country Day invited CHCA, Seven Hills and Summit Country Day to co-host the Suburban College Fair, which has been held at CCDS for ten years. Because of the consortium, students from the three other private schools attended in much greater numbers this year. Also, as in other years, CCDS invited students from all area public and parochial schools to attend the fair.

Another reason for such a large number of attendants is the opportunity the fair provides for students and parents to see what colleges are available.  “It is good for juniors to see different colleges and get their leaflets so they can read about them and start getting ideas,” said Kate Taylor ’11.

However, Kathryn Black ’11,  thought that attending a college fair  a senior is less helpful. “I’ve gone for two years already. Since I’ve already been, there wasn’t much new to learn.”

Director of College Counseling Sarah Beyreis agreed. “As students get farther along in the college selection process, a fair is less useful. They need more intensive interaction with college representatives,” Beyreis said. “The fair is particularly helpful to families at the start of the process before they have visited many college campuses,”

 Rachel Epstein ’12, “wanted to help out some of [her] perspective colleges and see what the fair was like,” as a way to start getting a feel for the process.

Director of Admissions Aaron Kellenberger worked 13 years in college admission at Ohio University, Thomas Moore College (KY), Xavier University, and Miami University (OH). “College fairs, on-line forums, virtual tours, and mailed brochures are a great way to get introduced to colleges,” he said.  He also thinks that juniors should not be the only grade in attendance.  In fact, freshmen and sophomores should “start to explore all types of schools and start to narrow them down once [they] get to junior year.”

Nine years ago, the college fair was started by then-college-counselor, Joseph Runge. Runge saw “a need for one when he got to Cincinnati,” Mrs. Beyreis said. “He always invited all the area high schools, public, private, and Catholic.”

In order to get all of the colleges to send their representatives, Assistant to College Counseling Yvonne Green sends invitations to all of the four-year colleges to which CCDS students apply or those that actually visit CCDS. In some cases, colleges request to be represented.

With so many college representatives, students, and parents in attendance, the fair became very crowded. Many of the booths had very long lines, making it difficult to see signs, and some people came with surveys that took up the representatives’ time. Despite the crowding, however, Victoria Mairal-Cruz ’12, said “It was overwhelming, but helpful.”

Overall, the whole point of the college fair is to offer students and parents the opportunity to find out more about a variety of colleges.  “Parents have lots of questions, too,“ said Mrs. Beyreis.“The fair is a great way for parents and students to investigate colleges together.”