Lincoln-Way West Counselors Offer Parents Tips for College Planning
Monday, October 5, 2015

Lincoln-Way West High School counselors welcomed parents to the school last week for a Counselor Cup event aimed at providing parents with helpful tips in the college planning process.

We want parents to be as informed as possible when it comes to decisions that will impact their childs college education opportunities, said Dr. Holly Pierson, Wests Director of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS).

Wests counselors used the session to debunk myths with a presentation about the top ten statements parents should never hear from their Lincoln-Way West students.

Your student should never say, Im the first one in my family to go to college and I dont know what Im doing, because West offers so many programs to help students plan for college, said Mrs. Anne Orlowski, West Counselor.

Parents received information for important events including a College Fair hosted by Joliet Junior College on October 14, Financial Aid Night at Lincoln-Way Central on December 8, Junior Parents College Information Night on February 16 at West, and a College Fair hosted by Lewis University on March 8.

Students should not assume that colleges only consider standardized test scores and school rank, said Orlwoski, adding that student activities, leadership roles, and personal statements are also important.

At West, the first assignment in English during students senior year is writing a college statement and teachers work with students to fine-tune their grammar, sentence structure, and statement content.

West Test Day is held January 12 to help freshmen, sophomores and juniors prepare for the ACT, while seniors participate in conference-style workshops.

West Test Day is important because a couple of points on the ACT can make a huge difference, said Tricia Taylor, Lincoln-Way West Counselor. Our teachers analyze the data from West Test Day to identify where students need help.

Students should not make a college choice based on what they read on the internet or a brochure; college visits are essential, said Mr. Richard Mandella, West Counselor.

Additionally, college representatives visit West every week and students are encouraged to make appointments with those representatives at the colleges they are considering.

Parents also received advice about scholarship opportunities and financial aid forms.

Daly said websites like www.fastweb.com will search for scholarships based on student profile information. Additionally, universities have cost calculators on their websites to help parents budget before they receive their financial aid determination.

Its our goal to remove any headaches or second-guessing around issues like high school transcripts, academic testing, financial aid, the college application process, and scholarships, said Mr. Tim Daly, College Counselor at West. These are important decisions and we want our students and parents to be well-informed.

Counselor Cup sessions are offered on a variety of topics across all Lincoln-Way High Schools