College & Workforce Readiness

Va. Graduates Guide Students to College

By Alyson Klein — April 03, 2007 1 min read

Tiffany Meertins thought she would go to law school after college. But when she took a year off after graduating from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, she found herself at a high school in southern Virginia helping students navigate the SAT-registration process and holding workshops for parents on how to fill out financial-aid forms.

Ms. Meertins was part of a program operated by her alma mater that places recent graduates in high schools with high populations of disadvantaged students or low college-going rates to work as college counselors, supplementing the efforts of school guidance counselors.

The program addresses the “information barrier” that can keep academically qualified students from seeking out financial aid, applying to selective colleges, or considering higher education at all, said Joshua S. Wyner the vice president for programs at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The Lansdowne, Va.-based philanthropy aims to help high-achieving students who need financial help for college.

The foundation—named for its benefactor, the owner of the Washington Redskins football team, who died in 1997—helped start the program at the University of Virginia and has now offered 10 other colleges grants of $1 million over four years to establish their own versions of the program.

The colleges receiving the new grants are: Brown University, Franklin and Marshall College, Loyola College of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, Tufts University, the University of Alabama, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Utah.

The Virginia program, which was started three years ago, appears to be having an impact: At least one high school saw a spike of more than 20 percent in college-going rates, according to the foundation.

As for Ms. Meertins, after her experience at Halifax County High School in the 5,100-student Halifax County district, she decided not to become a lawyer after all. She’s now back at Virginia, working on a master’s degree in higher education, which she hopes will enable her to continue college counseling.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Virginia. See data on Virginia’s public school system.

A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District
Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion I'm a First-Generation American. Here's What Helped Me Make It to College
A college junior shares three ways to help immigrant and first-generation students succeed in education.
Roni Lezama
4 min read
Supportive hand holds up a student who is reaching for a star
iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Documentary A Year Interrupted
When COVID-19 closed schools for millions of students, Education Week documented two seniors as they faced an uncertain future.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness COVID-19's Disproportionate Toll on Class of 2020 Graduates
The pandemic hit college-bound members of the class of 2020 from low-income homes much harder than it did their better-off peers, our survey found.
6 min read
Magdalena Estiverne graduated from high school this past spring during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently taking online community college classes.
Magdalena Estiverne graduated from high school this past spring during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently taking online community college classes.
Eve Edelheit for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness Conflicting Messages Exacerbate Student Detours on the Road to College
Amid the many disruptions of the COVID-19 era, it’s more important than ever for educators to be consistent about the admissions requirements—and the costs—of college.
7 min read
Liz Ogolo, 18, who is attending Harvard University this fall, said the transition to college was difficult without guidance from her high school, which switched to remote learning in the spring.
Liz Ogolo, 18, who is attending Harvard University this fall, said the transition to college was difficult without guidance from her high school, which switched to remote learning in the spring.
Angela Rowlings for Education Week