On April 20, during fifth period, Oswego High School invited 66 colleges and military branches to come for the spring College Fair. The event took place in the auxiliary gym and went on from 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m, and featured colleges from both in and out of state. 

The purpose of the college fair was to give students the opportunity to view some of the paths they can take once they are out of high school. Students received an email on April 19 from the fair organizer and counselor, Ms. April Ponte, regarding the time and place of the fair. The email also stated that juniors’ teachers were notified for attendance and they would be allowed to head straight to the AUX gym.

As students walked in, they were handed a piece of paper with a barcode that would lead them to a website called Strive Fair, and if they filled out the information on the website, then college and military recruiters could quickly scan the barcode to have them on the mailing list for recruitments or future applicants. 

Students interacting with college and branch representatives
Credit: April Ponte

Rows of tables were set up and spaced out so students could walk freely and access any college or branch they might be interested in. Representatives from the colleges or branches would be there to engage with students and answer any questions that they might have had. 

“An event like a college fair brings an opportunity to meet with college representatives and have one on one conversations about the necessary steps students need to take during high school to achieve their post-secondary goals,” Ms. Ponte said. 

Many of the representatives carried handouts and posters with information regarding the requirements for applying, what the school may have to offer students, sports programs, and other information to get students interested and thinking about their future. 

The college fair also helps students learn about the differences between college campuses, such as what certain ones have to offer in terms of location, housing, and internship opportunities, so that students can find a college that fits them the best. 

“A lot of people don’t know how many colleges are out there and all the options that are out there when they’re first getting started with their college search,” Sarah Colangelo, a representative for Knox College, said. “College fairs like this give students the chance to understand what they like and what they don’t like. It allows them to look back and think ‘I know I didn’t like that but I really liked that’ and the options layed out is good. It gives them a sense of possibility.”

Students interacting with college and branch representatives
Credit: April Ponte

Although college is a first choice for some students, the fair also shows that students aren’t only limited to college after high school. The Illinois Army National Guard, Marine Corps, and the U.S. Navy were also present to show students what the military has to offer and what they can gain from working for their branches. 

“The ultimate goal is to provide exposure to a variety of colleges, military branches, and trades opportunities to all students so they know what possibilities are open for them in the future,” Ms. Ponte said. 

There are college fairs held twice every year, one for each semester. While it is optional, the opportunity to get a look at what the future may hold is one that the school offers for free and is a recommended visit by administration. For information regarding the next College Fair, contact the fair organizer, Ms. Ponte

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I am a junior at OHS. This is my first year on staff as a news reporter and editor. I am interested in the gym and video games.


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