Philadelphia Futures, an organization dedicated to helping first-generation-to-college students apply to and thrive in higher education, has released the newest edition of Step Up to College: Philadelphia's Guide to the College Preparation, Application, Admissions and Financial Aid Processes. The School District of Philadelphia, reeling from budget cuts and dealing with tremendous fiscal crisis, has 3,000 fewer staff members now than they did last year. That includes just 126 counselors this year, down from 362 last year. Some counselors are responsible for as many as 3,000 students apiece.
"At a time when our high schools are struggling to provide first-generation-to-college students with the guidance that is needed to successfully be admitted to college, our Step Up to College guide offers a comprehensive resource," said Executive Director Joan C. Mazzotti, according to a statement. "It is vital that high school students understand the postsecondary options that are available to them. This year, as we confront the challenges in our schools, we all need to do more. We are hopeful we will get copies of the Guide in the hands of every high school student and their families."
The guide helps explain "each stage of the college admissions process – from test preparation and identifying college choices, to writing application essays and understanding financial aid, to transitioning to college life."
Copies are available in all Philadelphia public, charter and parochial schools. Community organizations and others can access a copy by contacting Philadelphia Futures.
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