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March 21, 2019
The real college admissions scandal? High schoolers we work with still can’t afford to go
High-profile malfeasance is beside the point. When our Chicago high school students do things the right way, college admissions and financial aid systems against them.
February 22, 2019
We’re counselors in Chicago. We want our district to stop steering students to colleges where they probably won’t graduate.
Chicago's new "College Readiness Guides" don't include information about colleges' graduation rates. That's a problem, according to two college advisors.
Getting to college
August 10, 2018
This undocumented student is ready for college. But in Indiana, it might be out of reach
Most high schools lack expertise — or even basic awareness — of how to guide students in Lester's situation through the college application process.
Win a counselor
September 26, 2016
These 30 Tennessee schools are getting new college counselors, courtesy of the governor’s office
Gov. Haslam's new initiative pays for a counselor dedicated to the college process — a luxury at schools where guidance counselors juggle social work, scheduling, and test administration.
a season of searching
January 6, 2016
A dream to leave Brooklyn, play football, and go to college — with applications in the way
A semester in the life of an Eagle Academy senior trying to figure out his next steps.
November 21, 2014
Deputy chancellor: High schools have 'higher calling' than test prep
While students’ exit-exam scores and performance in college are important, high schools ultimately should be judged by the type of citizens their graduates become a decade or more into the future, Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg said this week.
May 9, 2014
A college counselor, his students, and the vision of a life beyond poverty: an exclusive excerpt from “Hold Fast To Dreams”
For low-income students from an under-resourced school, Joshua Steckel knows that college essays are a crucial way to stand out. But he is unprepared for the complexity of asking students to write about their lives when, in many cases, they have been shaped by struggle and trauma.
December 14, 2011
With great fanfare, WHEELS seniors mail college applications
In a school sweatshirt, Chancellor Dennis Walcott congratulates WHEELS seniors as they approach the local post office. When William Taveras approached the Washington Bridge Post Office on West 180th Street, college applications in hand, with whoops and applause from hundreds of classmates in the background, it was a step toward a goal he set five years ago. As a member of the first class of sixth-graders at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, Taversas said he often heard founding principal Brett Kimmel tell students his main objective was to get everyone into college. Kimmel brought Taveras's cohort a few steps closer to that goal today, when all 76 seniors marched the three blocks from their Upper Manhattan school to the post office that would mail their transcripts and applications to universities. Each student was required to apply to CUNY and SUNY colleges, and some said they were applying to other schools as well. WHEELS — which lists "high-dose" tutoring as one of its strategies to build college readiness — required each student to apply to a minimum of six colleges.
August 4, 2009
Getting HS students into college requires dedication, and staff
The Brooklyn high school profiled in the Daily News today doesn't get its students into competitive colleges by "maniacal dedication" alone. The Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice also has a robust college counseling program that outstrips what's offered by most city high schools. The school's college placement office has two staff members who edit essays, help students find internships to build their resumes, and organize trips to colleges near and far. Most schools of SLJ's size, with about 100 students in each grade, are lucky to have a single person dedicated solely to helping students navigate the college admissions process. Susan Knight, SLJ's director of college placement, told me about the school's college program after a panel discussion this spring about how to boost achievement at city high schools. During our conversation, a college counselor from another Brooklyn high school approached Knight to ask her how he could replicate SLJ's success on his own. It would be a challenge, Knight said: She hired additional an additional staff member only after persuading foundations to cover the salary.
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