By Joseph Carin
BELLEVILLE – A financial aid information session was put on for parents of potential students at Loyalist College Tuesday night.
Gretta Barnwell, the organizer of the event, said yesterday all parent nights held tie in with important dates for students and applicants. Barnwell provided details on the focuses of parent night and what to expect come nightfall.
“This particular parent night is scheduled so that it coincides with parents getting those invoices and starting to have questions about them,” she said.
Laura Russell, the financial-aid officer, was scheduled to speak for the bulk of the night providing information and answering any questions parents or guardians had on the costs of post-secondary school as well as giving financial advice for budgeting for the investment.
“Financial-aid will be talking for the bulk of the workshop but also our awards and bursaries officer as well as myself from the recruitment team and one of our student success mentors. Although the focus is financial the opportunity is there for certain general questions to be answered,” said Barnwell.
Despite the main focus of the event, attendees were as well given information on what to expect from the college experience. The information highlighted important differences between secondary school and post-secondary school such as the change in how information is communicated and the many services offered to students whether it is an academic or physical problem.
“In high school if you miss a class somebody from the office calls and says so and so missed a class, where were they? Here it’s different. Once you’re here as student we consider you an adult,” said Barnwell.
“The biggest challenge is helping parents know how to help their sons/daughters. Part of it really is educating families how to the different systems work between high school and post-secondary, and giving them the tools to help them help their children.”
Barnwell’s goal through parent night is to provide accommodation for current and possible student families by creating welcoming and informative community outreach events regardless of the amount of people who attend.
“We’ve had smaller turnouts, we’ve had larger turnouts, but we’ve always had people come. The recruitment office handles most of the contact or first contact as you would with potential students,” said Barnwell.