Letter: Western Slope College Fair “Best Ever” | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Western Slope College Fair “Best Ever”

Western Slope College Fair "Best Ever"

A week ago, it was clear something big was afoot at AHS: dozens of buses unloaded 1,753 bright-eyed, well-dressed students, transported from 78 Western Slope high schools, all eager to meet with the 230 college admissions officers attending and the handful of mentors who would help them create their futures. The Western Slope College Fair was celebrating its 10th successful year. At the opening, UPenn's former Head of Admissions summed it up: "It's not just the best college fair in Colorado — it's the best in the country"

Based upon students and admission officers' glowing reviews, this year's event delivered on all of its promises to open horizons for both kids and colleges. "I thought an Ivy League school was financially an impossibility, but I learned in the "Highly Selective Schools" seminar that they cover up to 100 percent of tuition! Now I'm going to try for Georgetow," said a Telluride student. Jenn Gandy, admissions officer for Harvard, observed, "these kids can do everything big city kids do, plus build a snow cave to save themselves in the backcountry — we love that !"

From seminars to layout, the fair was organized to give the admissions officers and students the easiest, most convivial environment to trade their stories. Kathy Klug, director, came up with an innovation that banished long lines — instead, students approached the individual college tables four at a time, so all could engage in the conversation effectively. "I'm absolutely going to suggest this to the other fairs we attend," said one admissions officer, "it's so much more efficient." Another nodded, "This really is an amazing fair — every detail has been thought of."

It takes a Village to put on an event as well-run, multidimensional and just plain excellent as our College Fair. Here's a toast to the 100-plus volunteers from Sarah Stevens on seminars to Beth Mondry and Zibby on activities, to Blanca O'Leary on Hispanic outreach, to Carolyne Glah on, well, everything, Kris Ferguson on parking, Ilse Allen on photography, Mme de Rosa on brunch, and the countless others who make the Fair so exceptional. And, of course, every Village needs a mayor – here's to Kathy Klug and Kelly Doherty.

If you are a parent with students in Aspen schools, you owe it to your kids to join this committed, competent, inspired village, pitch in, and ensure that our College Fair remains, as Penn's Dean attested, "the best in the country."

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Kevin Ward

Snowmass

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