Montana’s free college application week begins

Posted at 6:53 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 20:53:28-04

HELENA – It’s College Application Week, when seniors at Montana high schools get one free or deferred application fee to a Montana campus of their choosing. This is the sixth year for Montana’s free college application week.

Wednesday at Capital High School seniors got some hands-on assistance in completing their application. Both students and counselors say it helps prevent procrastination and levels the playing field to give everyone a shot at applying.

Capital High Senior Justin Patten already has his college path planned out, starting with Early Access at Carroll College this year and then Helena College to begin his college career. But he says for those who don’t necessarily have a plan, this week is a great chance for them to apply and see what happens.

“You can kind of get people that are maybe on the edge of the thinking about going to college,” says Justin, “because if they don’t necessarily have to put money into it up front they’ll be more willing. It’s just free and I just have to fill out a form.”

Capital High School Counselor Jeramie Robinson agrees it helps reach students who might have written off applying for college.

“It really just opens up access for all kids who may not be able to afford that $65 application fee,” says Jeramie. He adds that the week also has other benefits. “It also gives us an opportunity to engage with seniors and stress the importance of getting it done early instead of procrastinating. Especially with financial aid now being an October to December window. We get to do all of that together in one fell swoop.”

Last year, more than 3500 free applications were submitted by Montana seniors from 142 high schools.

Capital High kicked off the week with an event on Monday and you can see their video on the counseling Facebook page here.

Click here for the website to learn more about how to apply.

Reporting by Melissa Jensen for MTN News