Seniors at Chestatee, East Hall and Gainesville high schools got a ticket out of class and into the computer lab to apply to colleges online this week.
Georgia Apply to College Week was held at 44 high schools across Georgia in conjunction with GAcollege411.org, a one-stop place for students to plan, apply and pay for college.
Gainesville High School was one of the high schools that piloted the program last year. Gainesville High guidance counselor Kay Holleman said she’s glad to see the program expanding to more schools this year.
"I think it is a wonderful program because so many kids said they might have applied to schools eventually, but this really helps them," she said. "It gave those kids encouragement and hope that they didn’t have that they could go to college."
The second annual Georgia Apply to College Week encourages teachers to carve time out of students’ school routines for them to apply to college with the help of high school guidance counselors and representatives from area colleges and universities. The program focuses on providing application information to minorities or students who would be the first in their families to attend college.
Holleman said of the 265 seniors at Gainesville High, 201 applied to at least one college on Wednesday. Another 49 students already had applied to college. The remainder are considering military careers or are undecided, she said.
At East Hall High School, guidance counselor Leigh Cumiskey said 120 seniors of 180 applied to college at East Hall’s apply online event Friday.
"We’re taking a day out of their hectic schedule to get it done and help them to do it," Cumiskey said. "... Our kids that really need one-on-one assistance, our average student, they really need help, and that’s the meat of our students."
Kasey Budrock, a senior at East Hall High, admitted she’s a procrastinator and would not yet have applied to Georgia Gwinnett College and Gainesville State College if not for the event.
"I would’ve waited even closer to the due date," she said.
Budrock said she aspires to earn a degree in psychology and was glad to have school representatives around who could answer her college application questions. She said it will be a great achievement in her family if she is accepted to college.
"Now I have to wait and see if I get accepted," she said. "If I get accepted, that will be my biggest accomplishment."