CBI is a year-round comprehensive college guidance program that works with students from the 6th – 12th grades to ensure that they have access to and can afford a college education. CBI’s full-time, school-based college counselor (Director of College Counseling, or DCC) works closely with principals and teachers to promote a college-going culture that raises parent and student expectations. DCCs guide students to overcome barriers to college entry through early college awareness activities, application, financial aid and enrollment support. As a result, CBI increases students’ college enrollment rates and helps secure the critical financial aid that makes higher education affordable and achievable. For CBI students, the question is not if but where they will go to college.
DCCs deliver the following year-round activities to students in the 6th-12th grades:
Early college and career awareness activities
DCCs frequently host college admissions officers and coordinate college trips and fairs; provide 6th-10th graders with college awareness lessons and workshops; connect students to school alumni who are enrolled in college; and help teachers incorporate college and career awareness into their classes.
Complete application support
DCCs (along with SAT partners such as Ivy Key and Kaplan) assist students with registering and preparing for the PSAT and SAT exams. DCCs offer 12th graders one-on-one assistance with college selection; help students hone their interviewing skills; and assist seniors in the writing of essays, letters of recommendation, and resumes. DCCs manage each students' individual application process and offer parent education and outreach for all aspects of the CBI program.
Enrollment and financial aid support
DCCs provide comprehensive financial aid counseling and assistance for students and their parents, including: financial aid workshops for parents and 11th and 12th graders; FAFSA application support; one-on-one meetings with individual students and families; and advocacy on behalf of students via direct communication to college financial aid officers.
Experiential learning opportunities
DCCs lead seniors on overnight trips to partner colleges. Rising seniors from each CBI school are invited to participate in the CollegeBound Summer Institute at Gettysburg College, a three-day college application boot camp. Counselors also introduce students to opportunities for pre-college summer programs and scholarships.
Alumni exposure and support
DCCs connect current students to college-enrolled alumni to reinforce the school’s college-going culture and students’ attainment of their post-secondary goals, and also identify and support at-risk graduated students during summer months to support their transition to college.
DCCs work closely with several partner colleges (e.g. Gettysburg College, University of Rochester) to increase students’ preparation for, access to and enrollment in a college that supports their success. DCCs also benefit from YWLN’s shared network-wide resources and best practices and activities such as college fairs and trips to ensure the highest quality delivery of services. While DCCs are based full-time in each of our partner schools, they receive extensive training, supervision, and professional development opportunities from CBI administrative staff.