Annual Ventura Area College Fair provides students with college information


The Ventura Area College Fair, which was hosted by Ventura High School in the Main Street Gym, provided college information to local high school students. Photo by: Adi De Clerck

Colleges and universities from throughout the U.S. participated in the event

The annual Ventura Area College Fair occurred from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Main Street Gym. The event featured 59 domestic colleges and universities, two British universities and five branches of the U.S. military. Among the participating institutions were Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Channel Islands, Santa Barbara City College, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Glasgow, the U.S. Army and USC.

Despite being hosted at Ventura High School, the Ventura Area College Fair was intended to provide college information to students from throughout the Ventura Unified School District and non-VUSD local high school students. College representatives were stationed at tables that displayed information for their respective colleges.

College & Career Counselor Patricia Roberts, who helped organize the Ventura Area College Fair, said, “The colleges [that participated in the Ventura Area College Fair] initially registered with an organization called TDCN. They coordinate college fairs throughout the state. TDCN does the initial promotion for the college fairs and registration process. The colleges go on a ‘college fair tour’ throughout the country, so they schedule to go to the fairs that work with their schedule. Most of the colleges reached out to us.”

Alyssa Loffelmann ’24 said, “[I came to the Ventura Area College Fair] because [there are] a lot of interesting colleges that I was interested in, like the University of Hawaii, Manoa and the Maritime Academy. I think it’s beneficial for a lot of younger kids to know what majors there are and what schools offer them.” Photo by: Adi De Clerck

The Ventura Area College Fair offered breakout sessions on various college-related topics, including a guide on building a college list, financial aid and finding the ideal college. Counselor Teri Dath led the college list breakout session, Ventura College Financial Aid Officer Alma Rodriguez led the financial aid session and college admissions expert Gary Bednorz led the ideal college session.

Emily Sehati ’24 said, “I haven’t been able to tour any colleges, so [the Ventura Area College Fair] is my way of exposing myself to colleges and asking admissions officers any questions I have. I think it’s a great opportunity to be exposed to different colleges and for those who can’t afford to tour colleges.”

Kathryn Salazar ’23 said, “I came to the college fair to have a better idea of what colleges have to offer. The UCs and USC have caught my attention. I like how many schools they have here.”

Cal Poly Humboldt Southern California Admissions Counselor Rickiyah McGrady, who represented her university at the Ventura Area College Fair, said, “I think the purpose [of college fairs] is to get students knowledgeable about what there is out there. I think a lot of students have an idea of what colleges they want to go to, but when you have a college fair, it opens up their minds to many different opportunities, schools and areas. Even just getting to know more about costs, out-of-state versus instate and what you want to do. A lot of students may even have an idea of what they want to major in, and coming to an event like this may change that. They might not even know that our school exists at all.”