It's a stressful time for high school seniors waiting to hear back from colleges and universities. Those already admitted, are trying to figure out whether they will be able to afford the schools that have let them in.
At Amundsen High School on Chicago's northwest side, they're working hard to ensure their students have every opportunity to succeed, regardless of their families' financial situations.
Amundsen offers an International Baccalaureate program that allows students to earn college credit. They also offer free SAT prep to all grade levels. It's a big deal. SAT prep can cost parents between $2,000 and $3,500 dollars if paid for on the outside.
"That is huge, because the SAT test, if it's not where it needs to be, they will throw your application away. They won't even look at you. So what we're doing is we're creating strategies to enable our students to be competitive on a national stage," said Marinda Kennedy, counselor at Amundsen.
A Level 1 CPS school, Amundsen has made great strides over the last several years. Seventy-five percent of their graduating seniors enroll in college, compared to just about 45 percent six years ago.
Senior Javier Saucedo is one of their success stories. He was admitted to Indiana's DePauw University for the fall, and will be attending on a full-tuition scholarship worth over $250,000 dollars.
Saucedo said he's the first in his family to go to college, and credits his immigrant mother's example to getting him where he is today.
"She wanted me to get the best education possible so I could show the world what the love and sacrifices of a single mother can do for her son," he said.
That is why this week's college admissions scandal involving celebrity moms Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, among others, seems so unfair to students, and, of course, to parents. Kelly Reynolds has a junior, already buried knee deep in the admission's process.
"If we all had money like that we could all do that same thing. But we don't, so our kids are doing the honest way, trying to do their best, make the grade and trying to get in where they want to."
Chicago high school does right by their college bound students