Digital College Fair to continue NHI’s “relentlessly positive” tradition
Though the representatives from more than 50 universities won’t be setting up at booths and laying out pamphlets out on Wednesday, they’ll nonetheless be readying for Wednesday’s first-ever NHI Digital College Fair — a chance for all 2020 NHI students and their parents to scout potential college destinations.
Longtime friends of the National Hispanic Institute, who have been involved with college fairs past, know what to expect from the event. Though it’ll be on an online platform new to everyone, it’ll bring the quality of students and dialogue that make participants — including representatives from NHI College Register members — eager to put it on their calendars.
“My experience has been relentlessly positive,” noted Hank Ewert, Executive Director of Admission-Central Texas Region at Austin College. “The vast majority of the students are excited to be at the fair, they’re curious and inquisitive, In many cases, they’ve already done some familiarization.”
Ewert has the advantage of recruiting for a school that many NHIers know; it’s the longtime home of the Texas Great Debate, which typically brings students to its campus for the annual competition where many NHIers have their first formative summer program experiences.
This year is different, of course, but Ewert thinks that some aspects of the college fair may even be enhanced through the digital platform.
“They should expect to be able to chat with the reps and ask questions and and deepen their understanding about colleges, from their individual perspectives, which, of course, is one of the reasons we have college fairs,” he noted. “We’ll even be communicating more in complete sentences; there’s a encouragement from the medium to articulate a little more thoroughly. I think this is relatively new for us as well as the students, but I think you’re gonna see subtle positives in communicating through the chat function.”
Another rep who has been to NHI College Fairs, Vanderbilt University Senior Admissions Counselor Arianna Yarritu, concurs with Ewert on the quality of the dialogue that NHI students bring.
“They always come prepared with great questions!” she noted. “The values-based leadership that NHI instills helps students realize that they should look for schools that reflect their own personal values. It is always fun to answer the pointed questions NHI students ask as they try to discern whether Vanderbilt is a good fit!”
She advises students attending to approach each school with an open mind, adding, “This is a great opportunity to get some basic information from each of our schools, especially with all the different profiles we’ve created. Since you have the opportunity to chat individually with representatives from each school, it’s also a good time to get more specific questions answered. Our job is to help you find all the information you need to make an informed decision about applying to our institution, so ask away!”
Even first-year participants, like Aisha Gonzalez, Macalaster College’s Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion, is excited by the prospect of meeting NHI students.
“Although college fairs, much like everything else, are having to be reimagined as virtual spaces, this is still an excellent opportunity to connect with many different colleges and universities around the U.S.,” she commented. “You can expect to meet representatives from institutions you are familiar with and some that you may have never heard before.”
She advises students to be open to the process, and to think of it as more than just reviewing possible places to go to college.
“Additionally, before the fair, take some time to reflect on you and your overall experiences,” she suggested. “Ask yourself about what resources, aspects, experiences need to be available to you for you to be successful in that environment. Then ask the representatives about those things.”
There’s still time for students and parents to register for the first-ever Digital College Fair, which kicks off at noon CT on Wednesday. Go to this link to get the quick registration process started.
The NHI Digital College Fair is powered by Gamma Iota Sigma.