Making Connections: Palmetto’s Annual College Fair

Jasmine Judge, Business Manager

On Monday, Oct. 10, Miami Palmetto Senior High School held its annual college fair, hosting over 100 universities and colleges from all across the state, country and world. Last year, Palmetto held the first college fair after the COVID-19 pandemic, but on a smaller scale than usual. 2022 marks the first year the fair has been held in full swing since the pandemic.

For many students, the college fair serves as a way to communicate with admissions officers and college representatives. In doing so, students receive the most accurate information about a school, as it comes straight from the source. 

For parents, the fair serves as an opportunity to examine all the possible schools their child may attend. Students often get caught up in the college craze and forget that their family is there to guide them along the way. The fair gives these families a chance to get involved in their child’s application process.

“I love it all but I think the best part is watching students come away from the fair with a renewed energy when they learn just how many options there are and know that they can go to college,” MPSH College Admissions Program Advisor Linda Dwyer said.

Though some students are fortunate enough to physically travel and visit the colleges they are applying to, a significant amount of students cannot. The college fair provides those students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with schools without having to physically visit the campus.

“The college fair helped me gain a better understanding of the application process because I was able to ask questions directly to representatives versus waiting for a response via email or telephone,” MPSH senior Maiya Behar said. “Now I am more well versed on the application process for my desired schools and feel more prepared.”

The fair also takes into account those who do not have any current direction but want to narrow their focus to a specific school, allowing students from all grades to attend and gain a better perspective.

“The college fair is a phenomenal opportunity for seniors to connect with representatives from the schools that they are applying to, ask final questions about the application process or narrow down choices if still deciding where to apply,” Dwyer said. “For juniors, it’s a unique chance to show interest in a school, continue ‘shopping’ and also ask specific questions.”

In addition, talking to the college representatives gives students insight into the special academic opportunities the schools have to offer. Students can ask about research programs, studying abroad, gap years, transferring and more.

“I was able to check out more Florida schools to consider as options if I don’t get into FSU, which is my first choice,” MPSH  junior Dylan Lesman said. “I was also able to talk to the FSU representative about double majoring, which gave me a better understanding of what I might do in college.”

It is very common to get lost throughout the college application process while also juggling school work. The college fair gives students direction and can put them back on track for their admission journey.

“If students see the pictures, talk to the reps, learn more about the schools, it helps to narrow down their choices,” Dwyer said. “There are so many schools and students need to start somewhere: big or small school, greek life or no, far away or close, snow or not, does it have your major, how much will it cost, etcetera. Doing research, like attending the fair, helps.”