Academy Chronicle

BCA College Fair – Review

Anaiah Thomas, Writer

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Masses of students gathered for the BCA College Expo on the afternoons of April 16th and 17th. The event was specifically targeted towards Academy sophomores and juniors, who need to make decisions about their college education in the next one to two years. The goal of the College Expo was to force students to focus on what college may be right for them, and to provide an opportunity to think about the great variety of universities that are available.  “I feel like this fair gives you a better idea of what’s out there, in term of different schools and different majors” says Sawya, an AAST sophomore who attended the event. She feels that is especially true being that, at BCA particularly, students are restricted to just a handful of academies as fields of study. Sawya adds, “It really forces you to think about what you want to do and which college offers that, and really get down to the specifics.”

The event spanned two days, each day consisting of a different combinations of universities. Many students liked the variety. “It was a good idea for the fair to have a two day program so that students could get acquainted with a wider range of colleges” says Madelaine, an ABF sophomore. “You get to explore more.” Madelaine also says that there were a lot of new schools which she had never been acquainted with before.

The fair provided an excellent opportunity for students to begin honing in on what they look for in a university. Students were requested to ask themselves, prior to the event, a series of questions –the answers to which would assist them when deciding which college would be a good fit for them. Students must think about everything from the size of the school, to the types of clubs and programs provided, to the prospect of religiously-affiliated schools. AMST sophomore Teodora says that making these decisions helps one achieve clarity and, ultimately, make the most of the event. “You are given the opportunity to see the colleges side by side and ask representatives whatever burning questions are on your mind, which will help with college decisions later.”

However, Teodora does not feel that one should overestimate the value of simply attending the expo. She states, “It may help you find out more about your options, but I don’t think it’s the same as actually visiting the college and seeing the environment. I feel like all the nitty-gritty questions that you need to ask when making your final decisions about where you want to go, aren’t asked at a fair.” In this light, she feels that the main purpose of the fair is to inspire students to begin their own personal process of college research.

What was provided at the college fair, however, was a basic outline of what different schools offer. At the event, several university representatives were questioned on what they felt was the most appealing about their school. The responses are provided below:




What is the most appealing aspect about your school?

College’s Responses


Alabama University

Representative: Judy Salmanson, Regional Recruiter

The most appealing aspect about this school is that it feels like home. Everybody is so nice that you get a warm feeling on campus –and not just because it’s hot! Parents are usually very comfortable with sending their children here, even if its far away. Some people are afraid of getting out of the city and urban areas, and to that I would say that this change is not something to fear. You really get to slow down and appreciate the things that are around you. Things that you take for granted, being right next to the an urban hub, become more valuable when you spend four years in a rural neighborhood. It’s very refreshing.

But, despite this, you still get to experience the best of education, school-spirit, and sports. Alabama U. is a school-spirit based campus where everyone is so nice and so welcoming and so diverse. Fifty percent of the campus is from out-of-state, so you have the opportunity to not only meet people from NJ and NY, but also people from Texas, California, Washington and seventy-seven international countries.

Ultimately, the experience is amazing. Try to imagine what it’s like to sit in the football stadium on a warm Saturday and be a part of this great community. It doesn’t matter what color you are, if you have blonde hair or black hair, are part of fraternity or sorority or not, or what major you’re in –but you all get to sit together and cheer for one goal. It’s really a beautiful experience.


Penn State

Representative: Benjamin Carr, Admissions Counselor

I find one of the most appealing thing about our school is our alumni association. We have the largest alumni association in the entire world! There are Penn Staters in virtually every corner of the globe. By the time you graduate, you are very well connected. You can literally go to any town or community and find another Penn State graduate. Penn State graduates love to help other Penn Staters out. So, if you’re looking for a job and you have our university at the top of your resume, your already at a huge advantage.

Penn State also has over twelve hundred clubs and organizations, and there is literally something there for everybody. It’s just up to you to seek out those opportunities! And, to help facilitate this, all Penn Staters are invited to an involvement fair during their first week on campus. One last appeal is our amazing football team. We hold many games and our stadium holds over ten thousand people. Overall, Penn State has an amazing community and is a great place to live and learn.


University of Chicago

Representative: Sarah Lyons, NJ Admissions Officer

For a prospective student, there are many appealing aspects about this school. Number one: the location. We have an urban campus right in the middle of the city, about seven miles south of downtown. While you still have the ability to have your own quad and room space, you also have the city of Chicago at your disposal. Further, the education that you get is really world-renowned. You’re not going to get a better education almost anywhere! At U. Chicago, students will be surrounded by like minded intellectuals, where being smart is cool. You get a really well-rounded education because we do have a core curriculum that solely teaches you one specific thing. You learn about a lot of different things, and you become a great critical thinker. We a really good at job at trying to create good humans, not just smart people.  


University of Pittsburgh

Representative: Steven Zyra, Enrollment Services Manager

The location of University is pretty unique. The students in the city of Pittsburgh really get the ‘big city’ feel. There is a lot going on, but its still a relatively small city, so students find it approachable. It’s only about a ten minute ride from the campus to downtown Pittsburgh and I think that the location is really what draws students into the school.


University of San Diego

Representative: Cristina Aparicio, Student Affairs Officer

We have a great range of majors, some that other schools don’t even offer. For example, ‘Global Health’ is a major which only two other universities have. We also have other things Nanoscience, Environmental Engineering, Public Health, etcetera. The ‘Biological Sciences’ is out most well-known major, and at least 20% of our students major in biology. Also, in terms of location, the sights and weather are amazing. Some of our dorms have an ocean view and the temperature is always in the 70s! Yet, at the same time, there is also a lot of substance to the campus. At U. San Diego, you get the best of both worlds.


University of Toronto

Representative: Mariya Kala,  Recruitment and Liaison Officer

The most appealing aspect of Toronto is that it’s the largest school in Canada. It consists of several campuses, each offering a unique experience and learning environment. It’s also one of the top schools in Canada, and within the world’s top twenty universities. The reputation speak for itself. Aside from that, it is also an opportunity for students gain a global perspective. By going to Toronto, in Canada, I feel that American students would get the international experiences without being too far from home or in an environment too different from your own.


Washington University

Representative: Erin Foster,  ‎Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

The most appealing thing about our school is that our students really have a very collaborative nature. Most students who come to Washington U. come from very competitive programs, however once they get here they’re very refreshed with the idea that they no longer need to compete. While we do challenge students, they ultimately become better thinkers and better citizens together. Also consider that the city is amazing. St. Louis is a city made of neighborhoods and very cultural. It’s medium-sized, but it has all the amenities of an urban area. In the end, it really depends on what you make of it.



Representative: Scotty Kominkiewicz, Admissions Counselor

The most appealing aspect about this school is the rich community around it. We find students that are really dedicated to making the organizations around them better places from when they enter. When they leave, there is no question that the place is better than it was before! They continuously push each other forwards, knowing that their friends will do the same for them. In the end, you really get to celebrate your friends in college and celebrate each other as well as everything the city of Nashville has to offer. Our students in this community really come together.

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BCA College Fair – Review