Central set to host first College Planning Night since pandemic

Vasu Dar, Copy Editor

Naperville Central’s counseling department is hosting their 15th annual College Planning Night on Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Centrals Auditorium.

The event is intended for the families of sophomores and juniors to explore college options. Naperville North students are also able to attend.

“We begin the evening with about a 15 minute introduction by counselors to talk about finding the right college fit,” said Maddie Corder, Central’s College and Career Counselor. “And then there are three breakout sessions. We invite admission professionals from colleges to speak on the topic so that students and families can hear directly from admission professionals about finding the right fit in college and about different types of colleges.”

Students can choose from eight different workshops for each of their three sessions. Each workshop corresponds to a different group of colleges. 

“For example, there’s a Big Ten session,” Corder said. “There’s a session about Illinois public colleges, small private colleges, military pathways and highly selective [colleges] so families leave with more information.”

Even for juniors who already attended last year, Corder said there are still benefits in attending again.

“We have different speakers that come every year,” Corder said. “Even as students go [as a] sophomore, we recommend that they go [again] and build on that knowledge.”

College Planning Night allows students to directly connect with admission representatives and in some cases, express demonstrated interest.

“If the representative is actually from the school that you’re interested in, they often keep track of who attends these things,” Central counselor Dan Goldstein said. “So that demonstrates interest, and demonstrated interest is one of the things that matter during the admissions process.”

This year is the event’s first year back in person after being on zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’re excited to be back in person,” Corder said. “The last two years it was virtual. In person, the connection with those admission representatives is one of the best, richest parts of the evening.”

Goldstein urged all students considering applying to college to come to College Planning Night.

“Be sure to come because a lot of time is put into this and it’s information that is critical [to making] one of the biggest decisions and one of the most expensive decisions you could potentially make in your life,” Goldstein said. “So learning more about how you can save money during that process, and understanding the differences between these [colleges] helps you make the best decision and save time so that you’re not wasting money on places that you don’t ultimately do your best.”