By: Kalyn Baldwin
All Shelby County high schools participated in the sixth annual Alabama College Application Week October 29 through November 2. The week gives all students, and especially first-generation and low-income students, the chance to pursue a college degree thanks to the waiver of application fees by more than 40 colleges and universities.
The Alabama College Application Week hopes to increase the overall number of students in our state applying to, and eventually enrolling in, post-secondary education. Many schools in Shelby County participated in college application fairs where they got the chance to work on their applications and submit them with the help of their school’s guidance counselors.
“This week is so important because kids need to know that they have options,” said Cheryl Allen, the counselor at Montevallo High School says. “This gives students the opportunity to at least apply to school, and then they can weigh out their options.” Montevallo High School had 38 students reported that participated in the activity, but they are expecting many more to participate at home.
Last year, 310 Alabama high schools participated in this event, with an estimated 52,000 students applying nationwide. Within those 310 Alabama high schools, 117 of them had 100 percent participation from their senior class students.
“I think this week is important because it encourages students that might not usually think college is an option for them, that a post-secondary education can be a possibility,” said Gerald Riggins, Vincent Middle High School Counselor. Riggins is anticipating 60-65 of his students to take part in the College Counts application drive taking place at Vincent Middle High School.
Alabama schools are implementing a strong “college-going culture,” and are promoting the real benefits of college preparation, career readiness, and community service. Students and parents can also get information about college scholarships, FASFA tips, and much more at the Alabama Possible-Cash for College website:http://alabamapossible.org/programs/cash-for-college/