A story in today’s Dallas Morning News highlights the LHHS College and Career Center run by Dr. Brenda Prine. It’s a well-done story, I hope you’ll take a minute to read it.

In addition to the underprivileged kids mentioned in the story that Dr. Prine is mentoring and helping to get into college, there have multiple success stories from this Class of 2010 that didn’t make it into the paper. That may be because the headline “Good student from well-to-do family goes to college” won’t shock anyone into spilling their morning coffee, but the truth is that even children of college graduates need help navigating the complicated landscape of today’s college apps and scholarship paperwork.

Dr. Prine has helped lots of students whose families bleed burnt orange, who’ve attended UT football games since birth, but who can’t hit the top ten percent mark to be admitted. She counsels them about other big schools with a similar feel, like OU, Arkansas and Ole Miss, where they are welcomed with open arms and enjoy the big state school excitement.

She encourages students apply to a “stretch school” where they thought they’d never get in, and she helps them craft a resume to make them standout.

Dr. Prine gives peace of mind to parents who are relieved a bit of the job of hounding their senior to get his essays written and apps completed. No parent wants to fight constantly with their child just before they move away, and the students respond better to her reminders, anyway.

“You know, I went to college,” senior parent Lizzy Cronin told me. “You’d think I’d know what to do and how to do it, but things have become much more complicated since the days when we just showed up on campus and signed up for class.”

Parents are telling me they’re happy that LH now has a resource similar to what private high schools have been offering for years – one-on-one time with a counselor who’s an expert on getting into college. It’s justification for some who wondered if their student should be at Jesuit or Ursuline or ESD.

Others say they’re happy to save the money they’d have to spend to hire consultants to help their student with the process. LH junior mom Beth Hanks says she’ll save hundreds of dollars with second son, Scott, since the service at the College and Career Center is free. Wild for Cats, the academic booster club supporting the Center, hopes parents will instead donate that money to their upcoming fundraising drive. Beth and Lizzy say their families are happy to do just that.