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High school students explore college options at 2021 college kick off fair

Expo College Fair.png
Posted at 3:49 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 23:58:30-04

TULSA, Okla — With the new school year in full swing, many high school students are already getting their college admission process started.

Sunday afternoon, several local high school students had a chance to visit with different college representatives at the 2021 College Kick Off Fair.

In 2020 the event was canceled due to the pandemic.

Jennifer McCledon, Associate Director of Recruitment for OSU, tells 2 News, “in the midst of a pandemic, it’s been really hard connecting with students early on and so as universities, everyone here is excited to engage with students and families to help them start their college search process.”

The college admission process alone can be a daunting experience for many students and the pandemic did not make it any easier.

The admission counselors that were at the College Kick Off Fair represented 50 colleges and universities from ten different states.

Tim Wilmes with Xavier University said, “I think sometimes students think that the college admission officer might be a little intimidating or scary to work with because we’re also the ones reading those applications.”

All gathered at the Exchange Center to kick off the college admission experience.

College representatives tell 2 News that the pandemic made it hard to connect with students early on.

Luckily for many high school students, this year the fair was able to take place allowing them to meet with admissions counselors face to face.

Many students were grateful for the opportunity to visit and gather information about multiple colleges in one place.

One high school senior, Mister Fearce, said, “whenever you’re searching for the right college that fits you, it’s important that you are able to go out and fully immerse yourself in the environment so that’s the only way that you can feel that type of interaction with that school, so having those virtual meetings kind of set it off a little bit, because you didn’t know or couldn’t certainly feel the experience around you, but I do feel like, it has been getting better with college fairs like this. Having those face to face moments are way better now.”

The pandemic didn't just impact the college admission process, it's also transformed priorities among prospective college students.

“I used to want to go out of state more, and then once the pandemic came, I kind of wanted to stay close to my family just so that I can enjoy that time with them while we have it because you never know how long we have", Fearce said.

As students prepare for college, Wilmes recommends reaching out for help and says not to be afraid to ask questions throughout the process.

”At the end of the day though, the reason we do this job is because we want to help students", Wilmes said.

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