"Urban college-bound minority high school students in Chicago have high educational ambitions, but many lack the college-planning information they need to make informed choices on how to realize these ambitions," says a recent study by ACT, Inc. with cooperation from the Council of Great City Schools. "These students are ambitious and highly motivated" said Richard Noeth, ACT's director of policy research and co-author of the study, "but many didn't receive the help they needed, when they needed it, to adequately prepare for college."
The study suggest these students need consistent, structured help in planning for their futures including information on how to prepare for college, which college to select, and how and where to apply for financial aid.Â The study focused on African-American and Hispanic high school seniors from 23 large urban high schools in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee and New Orleans. The study finds:
- Many students did not receive all of the information they needed to make good college selection decisions
- Some were unfamiliar with available post secondary opportunities
- Some did not know the difference between a two-year college and a four year college
- Some haphazardly chose a college or planned to attend a college they had never visited and/or knew very little about
- Many were ill-informed about financial aid opportunities
The study is suggesting initiatives like the Destination College for high school freshman and sophomores as a way of increasing the number of students who will attend college and help them to become admitted into these prestigious universities.
Destination College Workshops for 7th- through 12th-grade students are two-hour workshops that provide critical information to groups of 25 to 35 students on the process of college admission and financial aid. Materials and copies of Destination College Journal are included. Sessions include information on:
- Making a college plan
- Making your freshman/sophomore years of high school key to college admission
- The junior year of high school -- bringing it all together
- The senior year of high school -- gaining momentum for college
- The compound magic of GPA , class rank and standardized test scores
- High school clubs, activities, and service learning projects that impress colleges
- Choosing a college
- Understanding the financial aid process and getting financial aid
- Preparing for the ACT and SAT
- Understanding college social life
- Connecting college to a career
- Meshing the college experience with your family life
Please call the Destination College Program Director at 773.285.9600 for more information about this program. If you would like to bring this program to your school, please click here. If you would like information about sponsoring this program, please click here (link to Sponsors page). If you are a college student or recent college graduate who is interested in volunteering to administer Destination College Workshops, please click here.