The Minnesota National College Fair, back in person for the first time since the start of COVID, is holding its event on Oct. 5-6, with two of the three sessions taking place during Yom Kippur.
The event is put on by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which holds events around the country with state chapters. In an email, the organization apologized for the scheduling decision.
“Our fairs are meant to expand college access for students, and we recognize this schedule limits the number of sessions available for students and families observing Yom Kippur,” wrote Melanie Marquez Parra, the NACAC’s chief communications officer.
The fairs are opportunities for high school students to meet college representatives and get more information about schools, as well as presentations on FAFSA student aid, college planning, and more. She said they are working to see if the Thursday, Oct. 6 session can be expanded to increase opportunities for students and families in the Minneapolis area to attend.
“When session dates were identified in our work with the local planning committee, we looked at facility availability, local testing dates, school district calendars, other college fairs, and school closures,” Parra said. “Oct. 5 and 6 were the dates selected based on these factors. With Oct. 5 being Yom Kippur, the team prioritized having a session available on Oct. 6.”
The Minnesota organizers, who are affiliated with Benilde-St. Margaret’s School and Augsberg University, did not respond to an email seeking information about which sessions would be on which day.
“It is our practice to do our best to make fairs accessible to as many students as possible. We consider religious holidays as much as we can in determining the fair schedules and will continue to do so. We will do everything we can to avoid scheduling fair sessions on Yom Kippur in the future.”