By Cullen Matthews ’23
Chaminade High School’s Class of 2023 is one step closer to submitting their college applications and enjoying long-awaited senior-year festivities come the new year.
On September 20, 2022, Chaminade’s Activity-Athletic Center (AAC) opened its doors to hundreds of seniors and their parents for an evening of introductions, inquiry, and insight into schools for the soon-to-be first-year college students. The event marked yet another milestone in the upperclassmen’s college applications journey, which has fortunately been taking place during one of the first seemingly normal years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A total of 117 colleges and universities sent representatives and admissions counselors to meet with the senior Flyers. Schools with dominant athletic programs, such as the University of South Carolina, as well as Ivies and top research schools, such as Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University were in attendance to talk to prospective students.
For some students, this was an opportunity to ask questions about majors, research opportunities, extracurricular activities, and expected tuition costs. For others, it was a chance to introduce themselves to and make a good impression on those who deal with admissions at colleges of interest.
When asked about the importance of having a college fair, Mr. Matthew Kaplan ’97 said, “I think the greatest value of having a fair for our seniors is that they get to meet and interact with the admissions people who will actually be evaluating their applications.” He further explained that “the primary focus is to get the admissions representatives in front of our students so that the students and their families can discover the right match.”
Kaplan acknowledged the AAC facility allowed Chaminade to host over 100 schools for the first time, the biggest fair to date. Offering a word of advice to seniors, he recommended, “Please stay in touch with your counselors. We don’t know if you have questions, but we want to help,” and finally, “Be receptive to what your parents and what your counselors say. We may know about certain programs and schools in certain regions of the country that we think could be good for you or are worth looking into, so just stay in contact and have faith in those who are here to guide you.”
Students also expressed their satisfaction with the evening’s offerings. For example, Jesus Garcia ’23 appreciated the ability to have face-to-face conversations, as opposed to searching for information online. “It’s nice to get a different perspective of the schools I’m looking at rather than just going through their websites,” Garcia explained. “I’ve learned a lot more.” Another student, Sean Keane ’23, shared that Chaminade’s college fairs have broadened his search and aided in figuring out his future career aspirations. Keane describes his satisfaction by stating, “I went to the Junior college fair last spring and the Senior one this year, and at both events, I met counselors that encouraged me to look deeper into their respective schools. The fair has definitely helped me widen my college search and figure out what I want to do.”
It has been a long three years for the current seniors, though the fourth looks to be the most rewarding yet. Best of luck to the Class of 2023 in the remainder of their college application process and everything to come!