By Kristen Behrens, English and AVID Teacher, Mundelein High School
At Mundelein High School, we host four Parent University Nights per year. This year, one evening in particular stood out to me. I was charged with educating parents on the nuances of the FAFSA, scholarship opportunities, and how to interpret a financial aid award letter. The response was stunning. I quickly realized that AVID parents and students are gripped by fear when it comes to the idea of taking out student loans for college. Parents literally created a line down my classroom’s hallway after the meeting, and I stayed in my classroom to privately talk each family off the ledge until 8:30 p.m. that night. Their financial woes were sobering, and I quickly realized that I needed an action plan to make parents realize how hard their students have worked, and that they are worthy of attending a four-year institution right after high school—even if loans do, in fact, need to be considered.