Category: Admissions

17 Jan

Comments Off on Thursday Thoughts – “Fairly” Good Advice

Thursday Thoughts – “Fairly” Good Advice

by

By Dan Fenyo

For today’s entry, I’ve turned to some of my fellow counselors for help. The question I asked was, “If you met a family who was planning to go to their first college fair, what would be your one piece of advice?” Let’s see what they had to say!

Brittany Ambrosino
says: “Don’t be afraid to talk to college reps.

We’re at fairs for one thing: to talk! I mentioned this in Monday’s post, but it’s so important to reiterate the point. If your plan at a fair is to stand 10 feet away from the row of tables and read our minds, you probably aren’t taking advantage of the oportunity in front of you. Step right up and let’s chat! I promise you won’t regret it.

Paola Martinez says: “Let the student do most of the talking.

As a parent or guardian, I know how many questions you have about applying, enrolling, registering, paying, etc. Coming prepared with plenty of insightful questions is essential to a successful fair experience. That being said, remember who’s actually going to college! As an admissions counselor, it makes a world of difference for a student at a fair to willingly engage me in a conversation. When the time comes to review their application, that little chat at a fair can sometimes make a big difference.

Matt Dembinsky says: “Look at colleges you’ve never heard of.”

Huh? What’s Matt talking about? He isn’t telling you to spend your time searching out the most obscure university from across the country for nothing. What Matt means to stress is the importance of open-mindedness. There are around 5,000 different colleges and universities in the United States alone; take the time to meet with representatives from your student’s top schools and, if you’ve got time left, check out a few lesser-known ones. You never know when you’ll stumble upon your student’s future alma mater!

Are you a college fair newbie or an old pro? What advice do you have for other college fair attendants? I’d love to hear back from you! Check us out on Instagram and Facebook #LivinTheKnightLife



Daniel Fenyo
has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.

Find out more about becoming part of the Knight Life at Mount Saint Mary College by visiting our Admissions site!

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags:

14 Jan

Comments Off on A Night at the (College) Fair

A Night at the (College) Fair

by

By Dan Fenyo

College fairs are my absolute favorite events to attend as an admissions counselor. If you’ve never been to one, they’re generally held in high school gymnasiums or cafeterias and provide students and parents an opportunity to speak with representatives from various colleges. At a typical fair, you can expect to see anywhere from 25 to 250 different institutions from the surrounding region and beyond. If you aren’t careful, a fair can turn into a circus all too quickly. . .

Today I want to talk a little bit about some of the common mistakes I see parents and students make at college fairs and what you can do to avoid them.

#1: Do Your Research

If you and your family walk into a noisy room with 200 tables set up in alphabetical order, where do you start? Fair organizers will usually provide students with a list of colleges present prior to the event. If you have a list of colleges your child is interested in, check to see if they’ll be represented at the fair. If you attend a fair with the hope that your uncertain student will have an epiphany and suddenly know where they want to go to college, keep dreaming. If you don’t have a list of schools in mind, you can start developing one based on distance from home, cost of tuition, or available academic programs. The latter is especially wise if your student has their heart set on a niche program or major. Not all colleges offer a major in biomedical engineering with a minor in underwater basket-weaving; identify your options early to cut down on time spent wandering through rows of tables.

#2: Manage Expectations

It’s easy to think that you might talk to every single college representative at a fair. It’s also very foolish to do so! College-searching can be exhausting. Everybody has a breaking point; your child is no exception. While you may know how important it is for them to take advantage of face-to-face time with admissions counselors, I can assure you that there is nothing less productive than dragging an overwhelmed high school student through a fair. In the same vein, when you feel yourself growing weary of the event, communicate that with your child and consider heading home for the evening. Pace yourself. If your child starts their college search early, there isn’t any reason to rush. Just make sure you visit Mount Saint Mary College’s table to say hi to me 🙂

#3: Ask Questions that Matter

The internet is an amazing tool. In a moment, you’re able to look up any given school and know nearly every fact about it. When you come to a college fair, make sure that you and your child are using this time to answer the questions that can’t be Googled. Many college representatives will cover every inch of their table space with signs, brochures, and booklets. The most valuable source of information though is the person standing behind the table. Instead of asking about a school’s total enrollment, tuition cost, class size, or other easily searchable data, take the few minutes you have with an admissions counselor to ask open-ended questions with answers that can’t be found in a pamphlet. One of my favorites is “What are the first five words that come to mind when you think of your school?” Try asking a counselor at your next fair that question and see their eyes light up! We love having the opportunity to participate in engaging and productive conversations, so take advantage of the time you and your child have to meet us!

What do you think about College Fairs? If you haven’t attended one yet, what are some of the questions you might have for college representatives when you finally do? How can I help you have a more productive and engaging experience at your next Fair?


Daniel Fenyo has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.

Find out more about becoming part of the Knight Life at Mount Saint Mary College by visiting our Admissions site!

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags:

10 Jan

Comments Off on Thursday Thoughts – “When I Was Your Age. . .”

Thursday Thoughts – “When I Was Your Age. . .”

by

By Dan Fenyo

For some young people considering entering college, it may seem like the decision they make will define the rest of their lives in an inalterable way. As an adult past the traditional college age, that earlier perspective might seem comically naïve. Whether or not you’re a college grad yourself, try to recall the feelings you encountered while as a high school senior nearing commencement; urgency, inadequacy, and outright terror might come to mind!

As you guide your child through the process of college admission, evaluate how your experiences might match theirs. At the same time, reflect upon how the circumstances might differ. As a parent or guardian, your support and understanding can be central to your college-bound student’s success. Nagging or overbearing guidance can be off-putting; instead of asking “Have you finished your application yet?” consider working alongside your child throughout the process. Showing your support can help remove the intimidation factor from college decisions and make their journey that much easier.

What was your own college journey like? In what ways can you channel your experiences into advocacy for your child? What are some things about your past that may not pertain to college admission in 2019?


Daniel Fenyo has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.

Find out more about becoming part of the Knight Life at Mount Saint Mary College by visiting our Admissions site!

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags:

07 Jan

Comments Off on Numbers Game

Numbers Game

by

By Dan Feyno

Think of a college — any college at all. Maybe you went to that school. Whatever the school may be, close your eyes and let your mind wander back there for a moment. I’d bet that your first thoughts weren’t of enrollment numbers, retention rates, average financial aid packages, or regional accreditation. More realistically, you recalled the sights and sounds of campus, the memories you may have made there, the friendships forged, and the lessons learned.

For many, the perception of a college is based on one’s own relationship to that institution. In spite of this, we expect our high school students to make momentous decisions regarding their future based on statistics, reports, indices, and averages. This is not to say that data is negligible; with over 5,000 colleges and universities in the nation, it’s essential for students to inform their decision-making with quantifiable data. Continue Reading

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags: