Highland Park High School
Thank you to Karen Berkowitz of Highland Park's Pioneer Press for the great article on our appearance tomorrow night, speaking with the parents of Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools. We'll be talking about grades, courses, essays, financial aid, what colleges are looking for and why and, most important, how to approach the college admission process with calm and purpose. You can read the Pioneer Press feature here.
There's no shortage of information when it comes to researching colleges -- guidebooks, email, college fairs, blogs, YouTube. In fact, there are so many new sites and tools -- College Score Card, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and their Shopping Sheet (this is a sample) -- that it can be hard to know what’s useful and what’s not. One of the newest tools on the table is College Reality Check, brought to you by a partnership between the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Gates Foundation. With 3600 colleges in its database, the tool aims to allow users to see how these institutions fare with regard to net price, graduation rates, debt rates and more.
We're big believers in information -- that is, good information. So we asked a group of college admission deans and high school college counselors to share their initial thoughts about the value of College Reality Check and how families can best employ the data this new tool provides. Read on to take advantage of their bird's eye view of this newest source of information:
Thank you, thank you… to the parents and counseling staffs of Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois, and Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois. College Admission spoke to the schools' parents of rising sophomores last night and it was a pleasure to hear about their hopes, dreams and concerns -- and answer their questions about grades, testing, interviews, and how to best guide their students through the next few years of college conversations. With special thanks to counselors Aliza Gilbert, Bill Morrison, Beth Gilfillan, and Kristen Thorburn.
Our Counselor of the Month for September is Aliza Gilbert, College Counselor at Highland Park High School, a public high school serving more than 2,000 students in Highland Park, Illinois. A graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago, Gilbert also holds a Master in Education from Loyola University Chicago and is working on her Ph.D. in Higher Education, also at Loyola. Formerly Associate Director of Admissions at Lake Forest College, Gilbert joined Highland Park's Counseling Department in 1998.
Located about 25 miles north of Chicago, Highland Park High School serves a diverse student body, including significant numbers of children from military and Hispanic families, a characteristic that drew Gilbert to the school. She has a particular interest in college access and undocumented students -- her Ph.D. dissertation explores how high schools influence undocumented students’ college process. (The state of Illinois is ranked sixth among states with the largest undocumented populations.)