Every year, thousands of high-achieving students from low-income families in the United States are discouraged from applying to prestigious universities, and institutions of higher education in general, because of a lack of formal and effective college counseling, according to Sean Logan, Director of College Counseling, and Jim Ventre, Dean of Admissions. In collaboration with Khan Academy and the White House, Ventre and Logan are helping to produce a series of free college admission videos aimed to prepare students for the application process and the academic rigor of college. “Mr. Ventre and I are helping with the content of the videos — from where to start this college application process and where it is leading forward. We want to help students from low-income families to access the higher education system,” said Logan. The White House initially approached Khan Academy, who then reached out to Andover in December 2013 for aid in the effort. “Our country isn’t great [at] teaching how to do college counseling. So I think the videos will help guidance counselors by being a great teaching tool for them. I think it’s an opportunity to use some of the talents we have here at Andover and aid the broader good,” said Logan. One resource that many students tend to overlook is financial aid. Generally, higher-ranking universities have larger endowments and therefore have large amounts of aid to give to students. Yet these institutions are also normally more expensive, deterring many students from applying. “If a student is not aware of how different financial aid packages operate, he/she could potentially compromise himself/herself by selecting the school that is more familiar, just because it is easy, instead of going through the process and configuring the financial award that would make a higher institution more affordable,” said Ventre. The actual videos will be separated into two different sections: one portion of the video will feature both Logan and Ventre where they answer frequently asked questions that high-achieving students from low income families may have; the second will be a typical Khan Academy video with the trademark blackboard background, in which Logan and Ventre will compare the different financial aid packages that various colleges offer. Outsiders from various colleges and universities who are deans of admission and directors of financial aid will participate in the videos as well. The first set of videos will be released this summer.