DFCU Financial Supports Garden City Schools College Application Station
Garden City High School, with a grant from DFCU Financial and the Garden City Education Foundation, has established a College Application Station for students to navigate the often cumbersome process of testing and applying for college as well as securing financial aid. The “station”—computers and study areas—are just outside the Administration office so students can get immediate help with questions on financial aid, application processes and scheduling SAT re-takes.
“I have had several students apply for financial aid sitting steps outside of my office,” said Alex McNeece, Director of Instructional Services for Garden City Schools and director of the Education Foundation. “This was particularly helpful with one student since she is an unaccompanied youth and therefore does not have a parent able to assist in this very adult process,”
- The computers are used for college applications, applying for financial aid, sending transcripts, and scheduling of college entrance tests retakes. Students are also able to use the station to check current grades, work on assignments and print school related projects as needed.
- There are college pennants hanging next to the published SAT scores and GPAs necessary to attend the represented college or university. Students, staff and visitors are exposed to the multitude of college options in Michigan and the requirements to attend their chosen school.
- There are several large posters that provide further post-secondary planning assistance. The first is a virtual road map plotting what each high school year should entail regarding preparation for the next step following high school. Another poster provides a visual representation of all the colleges and universities in Michigan grouped by GPA and SAT score averages required to attend. There are also plans to create posters to assist in military branch decision making as well as avenues to pursue the trades.
“I’ve had two students utilize the station to schedule a retaking of the SAT. One because the student significantly under-performed and the second because the student needed a higher score in order to gain admittance to a military academy pursuing them in athletics. As simple as the task may seem it requires a photo and students tend to give up quickly when frustrated with the process,” said McNeece.
“I have seen students utilizing our station countless times for a variety of uses. This location allows them to complete tasks with our help steps away from them and sometimes the help of other students as well. Many times I have come out to see one student receiving the assistance of another student or I’ve been able to facilitate this process at this location.”