Counseling Corner: Willowbrook Counseling Department provides tips and assistance for students during college application and financial aid process

Members of the class of 2022 are immersed in the college application process, and the Willowbrook Counseling Department is assisting those senior students with completing and submitting their college applications and gearing up to complete their FAFSA application.

As part of the school’s focus to help students with their post-high school plans, the department provides several tips to guide seniors.

On Aug. 26, the department hosted a Senior Parent Night, “The College Application and Decision Process.” During the evening, steps to complete college applications were discussed such as factors to consider when creating a college list, writing a college essay, submitting transcripts and requesting letters of recommendations through Naviance and how to make a final decision by May 1, 2022. The presentation from the event can be viewed on the counseling website at Seniors can visit the WBHS Class of 2022 Google Classroom for resources, handouts and videos to assist them in navigating this process.

May 1 is National College Decision Day, so students have time to make their final decision. Seniors are encouraged to continue working with their counselor and are invited to attend college application assistance during Warrior Time on Wednesdays (through Nov. 10) in the College and Career Center.

The process of researching and applying for financial aid to attend college can be overwhelming, but the Willowbrook Counseling Department is here to help. On Sept. 23, the department hosted a “Senior Financial Aid Night” for parents/guardians. During that presentation, financial aid terms, how to apply for financial aid and how to search and apply for scholarships were discussed. Steps to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form also were shared, as this is now a graduation requirement for all students in Illinois. The 2022-23 FAFSA opens on Oct. 1, and the form can be completed by going to

Willowbrook will offer three FAFSA Completion Workshops, during which members of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will assist students and parents/guardians with completing their FAFSA form. The “MAD Money” FAFSA Completion Workshops will take place during the following times and dates at Willowbrook in the Library Media Center.

  • 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 21
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct 28 (virtual)
  • 6 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 18

Students and parents/guardians should bring their social security numbers, driver’s license and completed 2020 taxes. Students and parents/guardians also will need to create a FSA ID (a federal username and password) prior to completing the FAFSA. This can be created at

Scholarships also are a great way to help with the costs of attending college. There is quite an array of scholarships, so there is something for everyone. Many scholarships are based on merit, but there also are some based on ethnicity, gender, volunteer work, future education plans, financial status and many other factors. Students can search and apply for scholarships through multiple avenues, including:

  • Financial aid page of the colleges/universities to which they apply
  • Student’s or parent’s employer (many companies offer scholarships for children of their employees)
  • National scholarship search sites such as and (a more extensive list can be found on the Counseling Department page on Willowbrook’s website at
  • A large focus at Willowbrook is local scholarship offerings. There are many businesses and organizations throughout DuPage County that offer scholarships for students. Students can find those by visiting the Scholarship Bulletin Board in the Counseling Office, the College and Career Center and Willowbrook’s website at On that page, students will find financial aid information, helpful websites and a list of available local scholarships (many become available during second semester, so the list of 2021-22 local scholarships will be updated in early October).

The Counseling Department also encourages parents/guardians and students of the class of 2022 to join the department’s Remind account to receive updates and notifications of deadlines, scholarship information and more. To join, text @9b47fa to 81010.

For more information about the application or financial aid process, contact your child’s School Counselor.

  • This is a semimonthly column that features news from the Guidance Department. The column will alternate between Addison Trail and Willowbrook.