Juniors Visit College Fair in Hartford

A report from the 2023 NACAC college fair.

Juniors Visit College Fair in Hartford
The junior class at the NACAC College Fair. Photo by Ms. Schumacher.
By Kaiden Chandler

On Friday, March 31, the junior class visited colleges and employers at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) College Fair in Hartford, CT. Held at the Connecticut Convention Center, the fair allowed students to explore a wide range of post-secondary options at their own pace.

Many students felt that the fair was useful, providing a jumpstart to their college search. Gabriel Frommer, a junior, described the fair as a way to get a quick read on whether a school is a right fit. “I think it was very beneficial, and if you’re interested in applying to a state school or any other college there, it was a great opportunity to meet with the representatives there.” Gabriel Fletcher agreed, explaining the fair as an opportunity to learn about a variety of schools - not just the big names. “I thought it was good for finding colleges. I think it was good to visit them and see what they had to offer.”

The fair had booths from over 200 groups, with colleges and universities making up the bulk of the representatives. Prospective students found a diversity of post-secondary institutions. State schools, including Central Connecticut State University, UConn, and UMass Amherst were in attendance, as well as technology institutions like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the New England Institute of Technology.

However, those taking a career-oriented pathway had more limited options, with only one employment organization, the Connecticut Air National Guard, represented at the fair. Ms. Schumacher, a guidance counselor at MSMHS, says a fall career fair is currently in the works, with plans to use MSMHS “community support and parent connections to help provide even more exposure for students.” To start gaining that experience now, she advises career-focused students to find internships. “The more exposure you can get…can give you a better flavor for what the actual job would be.”

For those on the college route, Ms. Schumacher recommends that students “focus on the schools that they were able to talk to, that they have a genuine interest in.” After identifying these schools, she recommends looking at the schools from a variety of lenses, from academics to campus life, advising that students “research the schools and their programs, and get on campus if possible.”