For 12 consecutive years, 100 percent of IDEA’s graduating seniors have been accepted into college, and an increasing number are accepted into Tier 1 and 2 level schools. This staggering number speaks volumes to the dedication, not only of IDEA students, but also the staff. Producing quality college applications for dozens of seniors is no small feat, just ask Janet Magana, IDEA’s Director of College Counseling at IDEA College Preparatory Pharr.
“We have 80% of our students applying to top tier colleges and universities,” she said. “Each student has to apply to six colleges or universities and that includes at least two target schools and two reach schools.”
This means that our Pharr’s college counselors, including Janet, Janie Ruiz and Priscilla Trejo are helping students with more than 350 applications! And each of these applications has to meet a specific quality standard. A quality college application is one that has a detailed résumé that demonstrates the student’s dedication in extracurricular activities or community service. It also includes a personal statement that has the four P’s: purposeful, personal, practical, and most importantly powerful.
A quality application is one that also has powerful supplemental essays that allow the admissions counselor to see the student as a whole. It also includes a proper transcript, ACT scores, and quality counselor and teacher letters of recommendation that allow a college admissions counselor to view the student’s value through different lenses.
December is considered “crunch time” for all IDEA seniors. December 7 was the students’ deadline for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and December 14 is a network set deadline for submission for all college and university applications.
Although Janet says this time of year is busy, it is also the most rewarding.
“The most rewarding part of my job is opening education opportunities for Las Milpas students that would have otherwise not been available and seeing the pride in parent’s eyes as they see their child’s accomplishments. It is humbling to be able to touch the future of my home community through education that will impact future generations.
IDEA seniors are already receiving college acceptance letters from The University of Chicago, The University of Notre Dame, and Kalamazoo College, to name a few.