The new Louisiana Center for College Access offers free ACT and SAT prep courses and college readiness workshops to Louisiana students. The first in-person workshops will take place on Aug. 7 on the Tulane campus. (Photo by Shutterstock)
Applying to college can be stressful for students and their families, particularly for those who are first in their families to go to college. Tulane’s new Louisiana Center for College Access (LCCA), which opened virtually in February, offers free ACT and SAT prep courses and college readiness workshops to Louisiana students. The center will expand to in-person seminars, beginning Saturday, August 7, with “Applying 101: You’re the Dean.”
“Over the past few months, we have provided virtual ACT and SAT prep sessions every Saturday to students from around the state of Louisiana,” said Lauryn Hudson, senior program coordinator for the LCCA. “In the future, we hope to increase our general college preparation sessions, both in-person and virtually, and increase our partnerships with local high schools and community-based organizations.”
“The purpose of the center is to support Louisiana students and their families in finding post-secondary success by providing them with free resources.”
– Bradly Booke, associate vice president of admission
During the August 7 workshop, Tulane admission professionals will lead participants through a simulation exercise where they’ll serve as members of an admission committee for a fictitious university. The committee will review several applications and decide which students to admit. This interactive simulation is a terrific way to demystify college admission for prospective students and help them better understand how the process works.
“I am a first-generation college student with over 18 years of experience in post-secondary access and college admissions,” said Bradly Booke, associate vice president of admission. “The purpose of the center is to support Louisiana students and their families in finding post-secondary success by providing them with free resources. All of our workshops are run by full-time professionals from college admissions, financial aid and test preparation educators from Tulane University and other Louisiana colleges and universities.”
The LCCA is part of Tulane University’s new Louisiana Promise initiative, launched in November 2020. The center is designed to make higher education more accessible to students in the state, regardless of what college they wish to attend, by learning how to navigate the application process. Lower-income students often attend less-resourced schools that may not have the ability to provide robust college counseling. The LCCA hopes to fill in the gaps and level the playing field for these students.
The workshops offer seminars and workshops on various topics, including finding the right college fit, being a competitive applicant and crafting a college essay. The most popular courses are the ACT and SAT prep classes, while the financial aid seminars have been very popular with parents.
“Looking back on my college search from the perspective of having worked in higher education for 25 years, I realize how very little I knew,” said Becky Ancira, associate vice president of enrollment management. “I was a first-generation college student from a Jefferson Parish public school that had a single guidance counselor for 200 graduating students. Having access to a resource like the LCCA would have been a game-changer for me. That’s what LCCA can be for Louisiana students. We want to provide the resources needed so they can find the right college and submit their strongest possible application.”
Along with the official website, LCAA also has an official mailing list. The calendar of events is updated every month, and students, parents and high school guidance counselors are encouraged to sign up.