This week’s column was submitted by Marianne Orme, reference librarian, at the Des Plaines Public Library.
High school students, does the prospect of planning for college scare you and threaten to spoil the summer season? Given the high cost of education, planning is more important than ever.
Both students and parents can replace fear with information and tools for learning through the library. Des Plaines Public Library is adding three programs presented by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions to accompany its typically available resources.
First, do you need guidance successfully choosing and being admitted to the right school for you? Both comprehensive guide to colleges and special-focus guides are available, namely Midwestern schools, “best buys” and other recommendations. Families can also take advantage of books that examine and explain the admission process.
Choosing a major is an important aspect of selecting a school. When considering a major and related career, both students and parents can benefit from using the resources listed on Career Exploration on the library’s website.
Printed materials available include College Board's Book of Majors or other similar resources.
Attending Kaplan's “Accepted! Getting into Your First Choice College” on Tuesday July 31, from 7-8 p.m. is another way to learn about identifying the right program for individual students. This program discusses selecting and presenting high school experiences on college applications as well as insights into the work of admissions officers.
Second, contrast those sad news stories about student debt with guidance about applying for financial aid. Numerous resources identifying scholarships and also books that offer strategies to pay for college can all rekindle hope of conquering college expense. Kaplan's second program, “Paying for College 101,” is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 7-8 p.m. The financial aid application, the related process, and distinctions between different types of awards represent the chief topics.
Third, no college application is complete without the personal essay. Consider preparing for Kaplan's program "Writing Your College Application Essay" program, scheduled Aug. 28, from 7-8 p.m., by reading the library's books that focus on crafting these essays or general essay writing books. Both programs will offer ideas and present sample essays. The writing lab section of online subscription service Help Now, on the library’s website, represents another option to sharpen writing skills.
Register online for the program or contact a reference staff member at (847) 376-2841. Enjoy the planning process and the rest of summer!