St Laurence Partnership with HelloCollege

Our mission is to coach and prepare St. Laurence High School’s Coughlin Scholars to gain acceptances to more selective colleges and universities along with increased scholarship and honors program offers. We also aim to educate and empower the entire school with a better understanding of the college applications process and scholarships.

In our first year, we boosted elite and highly selective college attendance by 700% and so much more...

Meet the Class of 2023 Coughlin Scholars

Class of 2023 Results

Colleges were divided into the following four tiers based on acceptance rate data:

Tiers were adjusted for highly competitive majors including engineering, business, computer science, and nursing when the acceptance rate for a given major lower is than a college’s overall acceptance rate.

Stats at a Glimpse

400% Boost in Tier 1s

Elite colleges with <20% acceptance rates

300% Increase in Tier 2

Highly competitive colleges with acceptance rate of 21-40%

27% Less Tier 4’s

Colleges with acceptance rates of 61% or higher

Average Tier Boost: 1

Average college tier increased from 4 to 3

Class of 2022 compared to Class of 2023 after joining HelloCollege


Top 3 Student Comparison

Based on acceptance rates

Class of 2022

Bucknell University: 34%

Penn State University: 51%

Purdue University: 68%

Class of 2023

Duke University: 5.9%

University of Chicago: 6.5%

University of Notre Dame: 15%

Did you know?

Acceptance rates differ by major. For instance here are University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign acceptance rates for the year of 2022:

Scholarships & Honors

23 out of 25 of Students

Received over 10K in merit scholarships.

14 Students Earned

Presidential scholarships.

Total of 16

Honors College offers.

Case Studies

Vincent Zheng

College chosen, major: University of Illinois - Business

A note from Vincent's counselor Allison Dahleen

With Vincent’s ACT score and limited resume our strategy was to find ways in his essay and activities list to highlight how much responsibility he really has as a young 17/18 year old. First, we decided to go test-optional because his test score of a 23 did not match his outstanding GPA. When it came to his activities list, we mentioned that he works at his family restaurant and is an integral member of that team. 

Early in our partnership we brainstormed how to position things on his activities list like giving his resale business a name or listing the job of Translator for his parents. We also coached Vincent to start diving into his academic passions and his major which led to being able to add the role of “Active Learner” on his activities list with topics like the stock market and studying Mandarin. When it came to essays, Vincent highlighted the “Asian pressure” he feels to succeed from his parents and credits that pressure for starting his own resale business. During Vincent’s “Why this Major” essays he was able to connect learnings from his resale business and restaurant job to form a great essay with realistic examples.

Bartosz Chramiec

College chosen, major: University of Notre Dame, Theology

A note from Bart's counselor Rabab Darwish

Since Bart aimed to attend Notre Dame, while also looking for potential merit scholarships, the focus at first was for Bart to enhance his ACT scores. After going through our test prep material, Bart was able to increase his ACT composite score to a 33. Thereafter, Bartosz took the test one more time as he completed the test prep material and was able to score a 34. This approach was rather successful as Bart was engaged in robust extracurricular activities, while also working alongside his mother to run their family printing business, so maximizing ACT scores was a component we were able to tackle to strengthen his application. Once Bartosz was able to enhance his ACT score, we focused on showcasing his best personal story throughout the various essay components on the applications.

Sticker Price Case Studies

Student A

Student B

Student C

Student D

Student E


96% Declared a major
96% Applied by the early action deadline
96% Completed FAFSA by October

Assisting the Entire St. Laurence High School Community

We conducted several school-wide workshops in '22

The future's looking bright

About the Coughlin Scholars

Mary Tolan - Benefactor

The Dan and Rone Coughlin Family Scholars program matches the top 25 members of the junior class with the resources to not only gain acceptance at the most competitive colleges and universities in America, but to complete their degree on time without accumulating unmanageable debt. This scholarship program was founded in 2021 by St. Laurence Board Member and CEO of Chicago Pacific Partners, Mary Tolan. Mary named the program in memory of her late parents, Dan & Rone Coughlin. The scholarship provides two years of assistance which includes intensive college counseling and a summer internship experience. Students and their families will also work directly with an advisor who will help them maximize their efforts and results during the application, selection and financial aid processes.