By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Plainville High School students got a head start on the college search during the third annual College Fair last Friday.
For junior Madison St-John, finding the right college to fit her interests is still a gray area. Although she visited four different colleges at the fair including Quinnipiac University and the University of Connecticut, St-John said she has not decided on her first choice yet because she is deciding between two different majors.
“I want to major in business or nursing,” she said. “But I have been looking at UConn a lot.”
After speaking with multiple college admissions recruiters, St-John said the best piece of advice they offered was not to worry about finding a major immediately.
“Do not stress out if you do not know what you want to major in,” she said.
Rob Filipkowski, a senior, said he wants to stay in state, so is looking into applying at Southern Connecticut State University and UConn. Looking into the major of criminal justice, Filipkowski said is in the middle of the application process. His friend, Raymond Carroll, also said he is in the college application process, even though he will also consider joining the National Guard.
Both Filipkowski and Carroll said the best piece of advice they learned from admissions counselors was to start the application process early.
“Do not start the process too late,” they said.
Coordinated by the School Counseling Department, the college fair featured over 100 colleges, with representatives from different locations nationwide. From Western Connecticut State University to the University of South Carolina to technical schools and the military, sophomores, juniors and seniors had a variety of institutions to choose from.
Meredith Gagnon, the assistant director of admissions at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, said the sooner students start the application process, the better, especially if the schools they apply to accept early enrollments. Recalling how students in middle school have visited her university, Gagnon also encouraged students to start the college search as early as freshman year.
“Get a head start on applications and visit the schools,” Gagnon said. “If you ever have questions, you should always reach out.”
Virginia Folger, an admissions counselor at Post University, also offered the same advice.
“Look at all the criteria of each school,” Folger said.
Last month, all students participated in a 30 minute activity during the school’s monthly mentoring session in preparation of the college fair. During the activity, homeroom teachers chose a college name from a hat, which had the names of all the institutions that attended the college fair. Students picked a college and conducted research on its size, location, history, admissions criteria, majors and more, according to a press release from Plainville Community Schools. The students decorated their homeroom doors with all the information they found, so they can transition into the college fair more smoothly.
“It is scary, but I think the career fair is a lot more beneficial,” St-John said.