Donation at Alter helps pay for students’ college prep services

Alter High School students accessed services that would usually cost their families thousands of dollars through a private donation for the school this year.

This was the first year of five that the private Catholic school in Kettering has a contract with Class 101, an independent education consulting group that helps students identify careers and apply to colleges. It’s also the first time such a partnership has occurred, according to Class 101.

Alter principal Lourdes Lambert said the partnership helped many in the Alter class of 2024.

“The class of 2024 was very diligent about using the service, and we had many more students apply during the early admission time frame than in previous years,” Lambert said. “The additional support that was offered helped them feel prepared and empowered them to take a bigger role in the college and career planning process.”

Lambert said the donation came from Chester and Stephanie Yeager but did not want to disclose the exact amount. The Yeagers previously donated more than $2 million to Fenwick High School.

Independent educational consulting groups usually charge between a few hundred dollars and several thousand, according to the IEC Association.

Karen Lane DeRosa, owner and college planner at Class 101, said the services provided for Alter students included figuring out specific clubs and services for the students to use, pinpointing colleges that might help and more.

“We’re more than test prep,” DeRosa said. “We’re more than essay coaches, we’re more than application coaches.”

Lambert said traditionally, 98% of students graduating from Archbishop Alter High School attend college. Around 90% of the Class of 2024 used the Class 101 service, she added.

DeRosa said Class 101 was able to supplement what high school counselors do. She noted that some school counselors have caseloads of 200 students and are responsible for social and emotional learning on top of scheduling and assisting students. They don’t always have the bandwidth to help a student make decisions around careers.

“I can spend a significant amount of time walking (students) through self-reflection instruments around what they may want to study,” DeRosa said.

DeRosa and Lambert said they had several plans for the next year, including continuing to educate parents on college applications and working more with younger grade levels.

“I think the first year was a great success,” Lambert said.

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