Sheila Roberts, left, offers a book with college interview tips to Bob Jones students. College pennants line her office walls. (CONTRIBUTED)
Sheila Roberts, left, offers a book with college interview tips to Bob Jones students. College pennants line her office walls. (CONTRIBUTED)

Archived Story

Bob Jones students rely on advice from Sheila Roberts

Published 1:41pm Friday, July 12, 2013

MADISON – College & career advisor Sheila Roberts enjoys helping students become “informed consumers.”

She assists all four grades at Bob Jones High School with college/career material, schedules college recruiters and maintains ACT/SAT/PSAT data, among other tasks. Recently, Robert’s proposal for at-risk students funded presentations for all grades. Sometimes, students from other schools call her.

Meeting with student families is a top priority. Roberts learns a student’s objectives for college and then focuses on admission and scholarships. “Families are feeling the crunch with inflation and rising college costs,” she said.

This year’s graduates were offered $23.8 million in scholarships. More than half of the class received one or more scholarships. Roberts also consults about FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

“The government only allows students to borrow a limited amount. It’s not enough to attend the University of Alabama or Auburn,” she said.

Testing is year-round. “PSAT only counts (for) juniors, but tenth-graders take it for practice,” Roberts said. Most scholarship deadlines are Dec. 1, so students must complete ACT and SAT by November for maximum scores, she said.

“Approximately 95 percent of our students … plan to seek post-secondary training. It’s my goal to keep them informed,” Roberts said. End-of-year scholarship awards “take a great deal of networking with college representatives.”

For Bob Jones’ College Fair, Roberts coordinated 50 colleges and organizations. An August ‘mini-fair’ will feature students’ top five college choices.

She completed undergraduate/graduate study at Illinois State University and the University of North Alabama, education specialist status at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and administration certification at UA.

Roberts taught at Louisiana State University, established guidance programs in Athens and was department head at Decatur High School.

Her husband John R. Roberts works as project manager for Lufkin. Her children are Dave Lamon with two children in Destin, Fla. and Bara Lamon of Birmingham.

Unfortunately, all high schools don’t have a college counselor. “Parents, teachers and interns wish they had had such guidance. It’s necessary to make sure our children have tools they need,” Roberts said.

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