Universities Open Their Arms to SMC

For those students still undecided on where to transfer for their higher education as well as those ready to do so, Santa Monica College held a College Fair yesterday at the new quad. During the student activity hour, SMC students had a chance to get information on the 119 schools that attended this event.

Applications and postcards were also at hand for students to receive more specific major related questions, as well as pens, pencils and candy also available in case the banners and pictures by the table were not enough attraction.

Many students walked around the quad carrying stacks of papers taken from universities of their interest, asking questions about their major and what is needed to transfer. Political science/ screenwriting Major Sarah Edwards who is "applying to transfer right now" was one such student, saying this about the college fair: "I like it I think it's wonderful, I can pick stuff from every school I'm interested in."

Students were told to apply early and to get the information about the major of their choice as soon as possible in order to make their decision before the application deadlines pass.

Two of the most crowded tables during the event were from UCLA and USC. "What GPA I need in order to get in," Alejandra Bonilla, officer of admissions at USC, said was the question most asked: "The answer to that is that we don't have a minimum GPA, we have an average. It's a holistic approach to the application. We consider every component of the application when we make a decision." UCLA, on the other hand, was mostly asked about their business economic major, which is the most impacted.

A table next to the UCLA table(s) had information on the SMC Scholars Program, a little known honors program that offers priority transfer and priority enrollment to UCLA as well as other UC's, including their own set of counselors and classes. The classes are smaller and concentrate on developing critical thinking and writing skills needed in University. "We've got about 1,000 students enrolled," said Scholars Program Leader Teresa Garcia. "Last year I had 178 students accepted into UCLA. 190 were certified, out of 287 who applied to UCLA. Breaking it down its 93%, which is pretty good."

But not everyone was satisfied with the fair. New international student from Turkey Burak Karakaya, said about the event: "I think it's not good enough. There's no Berkeley, there's no Pepperdine." Karakaya paused for a second, "First of all, I couldn't find schools I wanted to talk to and second of all everyone is packing up, they didn't spend much time." Though those universities were scheduled to attend, Kara Kaya had just gotten out of class, which happens to be during group activity hour. The eventual eradication of student activity hour due to demand for classes will prevent events like this to reach a larger number of students that could benefit from the information provided, having these important events for longer hours may help in the future.