Lisle, Illinois ~ From financial planning and scholarships to choosing a major and completing all the required admissions paperwork on time – there are a lot of questions when it comes to preparing for college.
For first-generation college families, the process can be even more daunting.
But worry no more. Benedictine University has created an event designed to help alleviate the fears of parents and students and guide them through all the steps, hoops and barriers that families of first-generation college students face when deciding on a college education.
From 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, Benedictine's Enrollment Center will host "Road to Success," on the second floor of the Krasa Student Center. The event will feature admissions experts who will discuss how to prepare and select a college as well as address the application and admissions processes.
Topics will include: filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and how it can help make students eligible for thousands of dollars worth of grants and scholarships; the ACT and what scores colleges require; tutoring; housing; and deadlines and timelines to remember throughout the entire admissions process.
The event is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors and their families, and will include representatives from a variety of university departments.
"Parents and students will be able to better understand the whole process and hopefully feel they are supported by our University. We want them to know they can use us as a resource," said Maria Ochoa, diversity recruiter for the Office of Admissions at Benedictine University. "We would hope they are empowered by the information and feel they are part of a community where they can get the information they need."
The "Road to Success" event is specifically for first-generation college students and their families who may be unaware of all that is required for their children to attend college.
Admissions experts will also explain how undocumented students can pursue and afford a college education, and provide information on the status of current legislation that will provide them with access to financial aid.
In 2011, Illinois passed the DREAM Act, making it the first state in the country to create a private scholarship fund for undocumented students. The state law also makes college savings and prepaid tuition programs available to Illinoisans with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, regardless of whether they have social security numbers.
Attending college may seem like an opportunity reserved for the upper class, but every person, regardless of where they live, their cultural and ethnic background and wealth, deserves an education, Ochoa said.
"A lot of students and parents think that a private education is something they can't afford," she said. "But what they don't realize is that we offer many scholarships, and although the initial cost may seem high, these scholarships can substantially offset costs and make college much more reasonable and affordable."
Benedictine University prides itself on educating a diverse student body, and last year ranked 12th in the Midwest and sixth in Illinois for Racial Diversity, according to U.S. News & World Report.
For more information, contact Ochoa at (630) 829-6329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.