One of Spalding’s most popular events, the annual College Fair, is quickly approaching. I got a chance to speak with Mr. Calderone, who is our Director of College Counseling, about the event and what students should know.
The fair will be held on October 22 from 6-8 PM in the New Gym. About 160 colleges are estimated to be represented, with all of the public and private Maryland schools having their representatives located in the Cafeteria. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors as well as their parents are strongly encouraged to attend.
Something unique about this year, in particular, is that a College Panel will be present in the PAC from 5-6 PM directly prior to the event. Representatives from West Virginia, Villanova, York, Maryland, Providence College, and Gettysburg will all be part of the panel. Calderone says, “All of those colleges are chosen for a reason. There’s a large school, there’s a small school, there are research institutions, there are small liberal arts schools, there are super selective schools, there are less selective schools […] there’s a good balance.” The reason for having this balance is that Mr. Calderone himself will be asking the panel reps questions over the course of the hour so that parents and students get a chance to hear how different types of schools compare to each other. Many types of schools are very similar so this background information can be rather useful in deciding what kinds of schools are a fit for a given student.
In addition to the fair, another 150 school reps will be visiting Spalding over the course of the fall season, so even outside of the College Fair Juniors and Seniors will have plenty of opportunities to talk to reps from different schools. The reps that visit the school during the fall and during the College Fair are typically also the same people who read students’ applications, so Mr. Calderone says some simple knowledge about the school and a noticeable effort to make a good first impression can go a long way. More so with a specific visit, is it necessary to do some research on a school, but in both cases background knowledge is very helpful. Mr. Calderone also stressed the need for students to take initiative in speaking with school reps, and to not have their parents do all the talking.
The biggest surprise from my meeting with Mr. Calderone was the schools he found particularly notable planning to attend our Fair. Specifically, he outlined Villanova University, Christopher Newport University, University of Aberdeen, Eckerd College, University of Colorado Boulder, Providence College, and the US Naval Academy as being particularly exciting. He said, “One of the biggest misconceptions [is that] sometimes students come with a list of colleges and it’s only schools they’ve heard of […] and that’s a mistake.”
“Some of the coolest stories are students who went off to a college that they didn’t know of before and it was the right fit for them and they loved it and thrived. College is what you make of it,” Mr. Calderone said.