Bradwell Institute seniors on Thursday submitted applications to colleges and universities as a part of the school’s Apply to College Day, an annual event that promotes post-secondary education awareness throughout the state.
According to the University System of Georgia’s website, the first Georgia Apply to College events were held in 2008 at eight high schools across the state. These days, over 200 high schools participate state-wide, including BI and Liberty County.
BI senior Thais Sanchez submitted online applications to Georgia Perimeter College, Columbus State University and the University of South Carolina. She said she will receive some financial assistance from her father, who is transferring a portion of his G.I. Bill benefits to her.
“Right now, I’m stuck between medical and music education,” Sanchez said in regard to a potential degree path, noting that she sang soprano in chorus and “loves kids.”
Carl Collins, an admissions counselor from the College of Coastal Georgia, and Laura Saunders, director of admissions at Ogeechee Technical College, were on hand to help students navigate the online application process and answer their questions.
“Today, I’m not really a recruiter,” Collins said. “I’m just here to answer any questions the students may have, help them with their applications and really just act as a cheerleader.”
Saunders expressed similar sentiments, stating that she had helped students of military families find answers to questions regarding their home of record, which can affect tuition rates.
“This is a good way to get them all in one place,” she said, adding praise for Bradwell’s efforts in promoting the event.
According to Torri Jackson, BI school counselor, activities are held in the months leading up to Apply to College Day to get students interested in and prepared for submitting their applications. Seniors sign up voluntarily to participate in the event, which is held in November.
Gov. Nathan Deal has proclaimed November as the state’s Apply to College Month.
While students like Sanchez filled out online applications in one of the school’s computer labs, another group of seniors spent time with Jackson in an adjacent classroom. Those 27 students already had completed their college applications — and many already had received acceptance letters.
Jackson spent the morning speaking with these students about “the next step.”
“They’ve already done the college-admissions process,” she said. “What we talked about … was the financial-aid piece of it.”
Students read articles about topics including financial-aid opportunities, how to live on a college budget and all aspects of credit, such as responsible credit-card use and how a negative credit score can hinder future possibilities.
Students who participated in the morning’s college-related activities were treated to a special lunch of subs, soda and chips, provided by BI Principal Scott Carrier.
“We hope that you had a good experience today,” Carrier told the seniors. “We really think that this is going to be a good thing for you. I hope that you talk to the juniors, let them know how beneficial (applying to college early) is.”