Xavier students helped direct cars to parking spots and welcome visitors to the campus. Mercy students helped bring the college admissions representatives to their locations in either the gym or dining hall. The Xavier Falcon and the Mercy Tiger mascots were on the front steps before the start of the evening and wandering around during the College Fair.
“I already knew Xavier and Mercy before the fair, but the students seemed well-prepared and very respectful from the minute I parked on campus to the second I left,” said Hannah Gonzalez, an admissions counselor from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.
About 90 college and universities were represented from 16 states, the District of Columbia, and even Ireland. University College of Dublin was here with their U.S.-based representative. The gym and the dining hall were filled with students and parents on Wednesday night.
“The Mercy/Xavier College Fair was a fantastic event for our students and those from public high schools in the area to begin their college search process,” Director of Guidance Nick Grasso ’05 said. “We had a wide range of colleges represented from all over the country. Students and their parents were able to engage in individual conversations with the admissions representatives about academic programs, student life, application process, and other aspects. It was a tremendous way to kick off the college search process. It also created a buzz in the school afterward where students were talking about all that they learned and sparked a curiosity in others.”
After the event we asked some college reps a few questions.
What advice do you have for students searching for a college?
Jason Cloutier, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio: Let the students take control of the college search/application process. Parents need to take more of a back seat.
Joe Kalosky, Endicott College, Beverly, Mass.: Visit many different styles of schools. Also, apply early in the process.
Rylee Plourde, Assumption University, Worcester, Mass.: Students should look at schools that offer multiple majors that they are interested in. At times it can be extremely difficult for students when they select a school solely on a major. If the students end up not liking their major but loving the school, they find themselves in a tricky situation. Picking a school that has 3-4 majors of interests gives the students ample opportunity to switch their major without having to transfer schools. Also, use your resources. Technology is amazing. As silly as it may sound, looking up schools on social media such as Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Instagram can give students a better idea of what current students are experiencing at the school.
Louise Caudullo, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.: Students should visit all schools they are serious about attending. Nothing can replace an in-person visit to see if it is the right ‘fit.’ ”
Hannah Gonzalez, Rollins College, Winter Park, Fla.: Find a place where you not only are happy living for four years, but also sets you up for success afterwards.
What are the top things that admissions looks at when deciding on acceptance?
Louise Caudullo, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.: The West Point admissions process is unique in that it requires several pillars: qualify academically, qualify physically, qualify medically and obtain a nomination. … West Point is looking for leaders of men/women. Any extracurricular activities that demonstrate this are ‘points’ in the total score of an applicant. Activities such as president of a club, starting a fundraiser, captain of a team etc.
Jason Cloutier, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio: Clearly, academic performance inside the classroom is the number one priority (all other factors taken into consideration).
Joe Kalosky, Endicott College, Beverly, Mass.: Recalculated GPA, involvement in the school/community.
Hannah Gonzalez, Rollins College, Winter Park, Fla.: Our application is a holistic review, but we definitely read the essay and look at how involved you are, but no piece is ‘most’ important.
Rylee Plourde, Assumption University, Worcester, Mass.: The essay is a way for students to truly share a piece of them that they believe has made an impact. I like to encourage students to utilize their resources -- guidance departments, siblings, English teachers -- to look over their essays. Having an essay with proper spelling/ grammar/spacing is really important.