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Dec 06, 2016 12:35 PM EST

Field Trip Helps Both Students And Parents Choose The Right College

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First generation college students, those who are the first in their family to apply to college after high school, often face the difficulty of making their way through the application process. And when their parents don't have any college experience, the challenge just gets tougher.

Understanding the challenges both the college-bound student and their parents face in regards to college life, Arlington-based Township High School District 214 designed a field trip that takes the students and their parents to two colleges in order to help them learn about the application process, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The field trip project, which began in 2014, brings college-bound students and their parents to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University. During the trip, high school counselors will be taking to all participants about important matter in college applications.

Erin Brooks, executive director of District 214's education foundation, said during the trip, students will be meeting admissions staff at both universities, receive a tour around the schools, and see alumni from their high schools currently studying in the universities. They'll also eat lunch at a student union, too.

The project was devised after the foundation asked counselors what it should be working on.

"We want the whole family to get the message (about college,)" one counselor said. "College is a reality. You can succeed."

The program has been beneficial to both parents and students, such as 16-year-old first-generation college student Bryan Dominguez.

"The whole concept of college is very confusing in general to me and my parents," he said. "All I know is my one goal in life is to go to college. Being the first person in my family ... is something I hold very close to my heart."

Dominguez's mom, Josefina Herrera, 33, simply agrees.

"One of the things I want to learn is what can he do ... to better his future," she says.

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