Published May 18, 2017
ATLANTA—Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta hosted its second annual Catholic Colleges and Universities Fair March 21. The event drew hundreds of students and families from across Atlanta to meet admissions representatives from Catholic postsecondary institutions.
“Catholic higher education is such an asset to our students,” said Ashley Meyer, director of academic and college counseling. “These colleges combine a long tradition of academic excellence rooted in Catholic intellectual thought with a clear sense of mission, service, and formation. We want to help students in Atlanta connect with these schools and continue their formation in college.”
Representatives of more than two dozen Catholic institutions attended the event.
Postsecondary institutions represented included Assumption College, Belmont Abbey College, Benedictine College, Boston College, Catholic University of America, Christendom College, Fordham University, Franciscan University, Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Merrimack College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Niagara University, Northeast Catholic College, Regis College, Santa Clara University, Seton Hall, St. Mary’s College, St. Edward’s University, Thomas Aquinas College, Thomas More College, University of Dallas, University of Mary, University of Notre Dame, Villanova University and Wyoming Catholic University.
Students in attendance came from Atlanta’s Catholic schools, including Marist School, St. Pius X High School, Blessed Trinity High School, Notre Dame Academy, Pinecrest Academy, Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, Our Lady of Mercy High School, and Regina Caeli Academy. Students from Westminster, Johns Creek High School, West Forsyth High School and North Atlanta High School also participated.
“If you’re a Catholic school, it makes sense to point students toward institutions where they can continue and complete the education they’ve begun,” said Holy Spirit Prep theology chair Tom Cole. “Catholic schools can serve as a kind of compass; those that have their Catholic identity at the forefront have a community with a firm sense of identity and purpose. They can keep you grounded in faith.”
Christendom College asked Cole to serve as an ambassador for his alma mater at the college fair.
“It certainly puts things into perspective to represent your alma mater. It made me consider my own college choice: Why did I go there? Was it fruitful? And in my case, it certainly was,” he said.
Holy Spirit Prep junior Kyle Bannon attended the event but wasn’t ready to commit to a college choice.
“I’ve thought about attending a bigger, public institution, but I’m open to attending a Catholic school if I find the right match,” said Bannon. “Every college is different, and they all fit certain personalities. Catholic schools (can be) smaller, and I’m sure class sizes would be smaller and you could get to know your teachers better. A few of the admissions people here said that professors at their school would call you if you missed their class.”
Sarah Durham and Madeleine Hardt, also juniors at Holy Spirit, attended the event. “I was interested in learning about some of the bigger schools, like Boston College, Notre Dame, and Georgetown,” Durham said. “Some Catholic aspect to a college is nice. It’s easier to go to Mass and have access to the sacraments than it would be at a public college.”
Hardt said that it was neat to see what colleges are like and what the schools stand for.
“I’m looking at schools with strong environmental science programs and engineering,” said Hardt. “I was actually surprised by Georgetown. I hadn’t really considered them before talking to them at the fair, and I don’t know why.”
Both Hardt and Durham agreed that having a Catholic aspect to a school, while not their first priority, was definitely a benefit.
“Catholic schools are so welcoming to people of all faiths, and they have that great Catholic intellectual tradition,” Durham said.