100 Colleges in 1 Night: your how to guide with Linda Alvarez

Sophia Fleming '19

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The OLP college fair is one of the biggest gatherings of colleges in San Diego. Students from around the county come to see what colleges meet their interest. With over 100 colleges coming, it takes a team to help prepare for the event. The Junior Ambassadors are the ones who help make this event happen. Being one of the head JA’s, Linda Alvarez tells her experience on what happens at the college fair. Linda is well versed in interviewing many colleges and was one of the leaders in influencing people to attend the college visits last year. Linda is someone who you can trust with any question that you might have and if you need advice about the application process, she is a great person to go to for help. As Linda reiterates below, the college fair is a great way to meet the reps from the school you applied to or are thinking about applying to in the following years. Below are some frequently asked questions that Linda answered to help ready yourself for the college fair.


Q: Why should a student attend the college fair?

Linda: A student should attend the college fair since it gives her the opportunity to be exposed different schools all over the country. The fair allows the students to talk to college reps and ask one on one questions that they have, pertaining to a specific major, student life, or on extracurriculars that might interest the student.


Q: If a student is planning on attending the fair, what are some good questions to ask the                                       admissions counselor?

A good question to ask a college rep is first and foremost, if the college has their destined major or if they have a similar path that can direct them to the same overall goal. They should also ask about what years does the college guarantee housing for students. Another important field to talk about is cost. You will want to ask how much will the overall cost, along with how much financial aid is given as well as any available scholarships.


Q: Is there anything that a student should bring to the fair?

More than anything, a student should bring something to write with, maybe a writing utensil, and a bag or folder to put in all the handouts that will be given out. Other than that, a student should have three questions in mind and a mental list of the schools/reps you want to meet.


Q: Being one of the head Junior Ambassador’s, how does this program benefit the fair?

The Junior Ambassador really helps with the fair because other than setting up the event, we make sure that everything goes as smooth as possible and make sure that everyone’s needs are met. It is the job of a Junior Ambassador to be a facilitator, so if a student is maybe too shy to talk to a rep we can help out with that. We also ensure to present you with any additional information that you might need.


Q: Even if a student knows what colleges they are applying to, is it beneficial for them to attend the fair?

Yes! Even though a student knows where they want to go, it is always helpful to give yourself different options. More likely than not, a student will change their minds about where they want to go or what they want to study, so it is always a plus to have a bigger list of schools which one can later shorten as time goes by.


Q: What happens during the college fair?

The college fair has a description in the phrase; it is a fair, pertaining to colleges. There are tables all around the Event Center, each table belonging to one or two schools, where they will decorate to their liking and have information books/handouts for students to take. They are there to give an overview of the school and to answer any questions that a student may have.


Q: Is this event only for upperclass students or can all grade levels attend?

All are welcome to the college fair! Granted, underclassman might not know where they want to go or study, but it gives them an opportunity to look at different schools, consider different locations, look into different programs, talk to the people that will be later on reading their applications. The ideal years to go would be sophomore and more importantly, junior year. For seniors, it would be a good idea to talk to the rep of the school you’re applying to, have a conversation with them, and hopefully “put a face to the application.”


Q: Is the college fair a student event or can families attend the event?

The college fair is an all family event. The most common scenario is the student and one parent but both are invited and if their Alma Mater is there, even better!


Q: What colleges are to be expected at the fair?

There is expected to be a variety of colleges. We have colleges ranging from San Diego local, to schools that are across the country, and maybe a few that are out of the country.


Q: Is this event only for OLP student or is it open to all high schoolers?

This is a school run event but high schoolers from other schools are welcome to come. The same rule pertains to other college fairs hosted in other schools (unless told otherwise); anyone can go!


Q: What is one aspect students should take away from attending the college fair?

The main thing that a students should take away from the college fair is being able to have more options. There won’t be just one school that is fit for you and so it is critical to have ample options so a student doesn’t feel trapped or stressed about only having a certain number of schools that they think they are applicable to.


Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about the college fair?

The last thing I want to say is that I invite everyone to attend; all four years. It is never too soon to start thinking about the future and it is never too late to look at different options!


As Linda stated, attending the college fair is a great way to learn about colleges that interest you. It is important to come prepared and have questions ready that you can ask the admission directors of the schools. As an OLP program, we strive to make this event one of the most helpful in planning for your future. If you feel like learning more about certain colleges, then come to the OLP College Fair on October 10th and feel free to reach out to the JA program, they’re here to help!