Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Tour Helps Catholic Students Make College Decision. (Catholic Colleges and Universities)

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Tour Helps Catholic Students Make College Decision. (Catholic Colleges and Universities)

Article excerpt

By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
Huntington, N.Y.

Picking a college is one of the most momentous decisions in one's life, yet flipping through catalogs, word of mouth or searching online are the only methods of searching many prospective students have. Parents often lack the time to take them to every college they are interested in, and when parents do, students can feel embarrassed to ask questions.

A local youth minister and Catholic school college counselor has offered an alternative since 1998: the College Tour.

With a church van from St. Patrick's, Huntington, Tom Hanley traveled with 10 Catholic students to a dozen schools in 1998. This year, he took 47 prospective college students, chaperoned by five high school counselors or teachers, to more than 20 schools for eight days in July in a bus.

Hanley, a college counselor at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens for the past nine years, began a new job as director of college placement for Loyola School in New York City this fall. The tour he founded gives students the freedom to see a lot of schools and choose their favorites to revisit with parents.

"I knew nothing about college and I didn't know where to start ... but [on the tour] everyone was my age, we were all in the same boat," said Shelagh Christ, 17, who attends Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Syosset, and is a parishioner at St. Philip Neri in Northport.

Some parents wished they had discovered the program a few years ago. Edie Esposito, who spent numerous weekends driving three of her children to various colleges, was thrilled when her fourth child, Michael, a student at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, took the College Tour.

From the trip, he discovered "five schools which he is applying for right off the bat. …

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