At high-achieving New Trier High on Chicago’s North Shore, top students take required classes in summer school, so they can make time for electives and Advanced Placement courses in the regular school year, buffing their transcripts for ultra-competitive colleges.
“One of the questions the colleges ask us is, ‘Has the student taken the strongest program available?’ ” said James Conroy, a post-high school counselor at New Trier. “And that’s a question you need to answer. Summer school has become part of this constant positioning. It’s a treadmill you’re on and if you don’t do what everyone else does, you’ll be left behind. At least that’s the perception.”
Of course, New Trier’s never been a mellow place. When I went to Highland Park High, New Trier was our arch-rival. We always said New Trier had more suicides.
While students sweat to qualify for top colleges, mid-rank schools are wooing guidance counselors with ski trips and facials, reports the New York Times. Victor L. Davolt, admissions director at Regis University in Denver, is a gracious host to high school guidance counselors.
He flies them in from around the country to meet the faculty, review the curriculum and, well, go skiing on the world-famous slopes of Vail, try snowmobiling or spend some time at a spa getting a facial or massage — all courtesy of the university, of course.
Counselors also get tickets to a professional hockey game and rooms at a luxury hotel. The hope is they’ll encourage more of their students to apply to the university.