Preparing for the future

Learn about your U.S. college and university choices

Many Canadian high school students consider doing their post-secondary studies in the United States. However, with so many U.S schools (over 4,000) and a different and more intensive application process than Canada, this can be a challenging undertaking. PrepSkills helps students and parents navigate this terrain: Its annual U.S. College Expo enables them to meet with U.S. schools, learn what they have to offer, and submit applications.

Meeting a need

Most Canadians have little understanding of the U.S college landscape. They don’t know much about U.S. schools, the programs they offer, or how to apply to them. 

PrepSkills annual U.S. College Expo, held in Toronto since 2012, aims to remedy this situation. It enables students and families to meet with dozens of U.S. colleges and universities as well as financial, athletics, and admissions experts.

No other event offers this opportunity. “We launched the expo to help Canadian students and parents looking into the U.S. market,” says Joanna Severino, Founder and President of PrepSkills. “There was a gap in understanding the U.S. college landscape that we wanted to fill.”

What the expo offers

The process of applying to U.S. colleges and universities is much different than it is in Canada. PrepSkills, through their expo and their website, helps students and parents navigate and understand this process.

“Unlike Canadian schools, which tend to focus almost exclusively on grades, U.S. schools look at a lot of different things,” says Severino. “In addition to Grade 9 to 12 grades, they may consider SAT scores. Students also have to complete an application form such as The Common Application: this is where they’ll list their activities, extracurriculars, and volunteer work. Using this form, they’ll also need to submit a personal statement that’s a kind of essay describing who you are, what your goals are, why you want to attend a particular school, and essentially provide the admissions committee with a sense of who you are and what your purpose is. It’s a far more holistic approach than Canada.” 

PrepSkills and the expo have been enormously helpful in helping thousands of students find and get into their best-fit schools, and there are lots of success stories to prove this. For instance, Tega Ajise, an alumnus of Crescent School in Toronto, used PrepSkills and its expo to learn about U.S. schools and prepare for the SAT and his applications. He’s now a thriving sophomore at Harvard College studying computer science.

Many other students have used PrepSkills and the expo to learn about U.S. schools, navigate the application and admissions process, and get into their schools of choice. Some of these are highly academic students looking for a specialized program like medicine, engineering, business, or STEM. Others are student-athletes who were looking for U.S. schools with high-level sports programs such as NCAA division 1 hockey or basketball. Yet others were students looking for schools with performing arts or music programs. 

“Because there are so many universities and colleges in the U.S., there are far more options to choose from than in Canada,” says Severino. “We help students find the right fit, understand the application process, and learn about eligibility requirements, for instance, for schools with sports programs. The expo also gives students the opportunity to network and make connections with people who can support them throughout their education and beyond.”

Expo details

The PrepSkills 2023 annual U.S. College Expo will take place in Toronto on Saturday, April 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m (EDT) at Roy Thomson Hall. In addition to dozens of exhibiting schools, there will also be notable speakers, including Olympians, world-renowned artists (including singer, songwriter, and actress Fefe Dobson), and specialized experts. Tega Ajise will also speak at the expo.

Only one registration for the expo is required per family. And it’s free of charge!  You can register on one form here. You can learn more about the expo here.

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