University Relations and Communications
MSU Billings participates in free college application week
Montana seniors can submit free applications now until Oct. 5
University Relations and Communications, 657-2266
MSU BILLINGS NEWS—MSU Billings is participating in the Montana-wide initiative, “Montana College App Week,” this week only ending on Friday, Oct 5. Students across the state are encouraged to apply for admission at MSUB or other institutions free of charge. The initiative spans the state and is hosted by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. Below are details from OCHE and GEAR UP.
Seniors at 150 Montana high schools can send an application to any Montana campus of their choosing without paying a fee this week, eliminating a potential stumbling block for low-income students.
This is the sixth year of Montana’s College Application Week initiative, which is part of a national effort to remove barriers for high school students considering higher education. The goal is to help students navigate the college admissions process by providing an opportunity to complete at least one application with support from school staff and other volunteers. High schools host events, set aside time for students to apply, and celebrate a college-going culture to increase college awareness and expectations in schools and communities.
“College Application Week helps me save money and get a better idea of where I want to attend college,” says Eve The Boy, a senior at Box Elder High School. “I realize all the things I have done throughout my high school years, my accomplishments, and I’m ready to further my education. I feel confident about my future.”
The state-wide initiative is coordinated by Montana GEAR UP and the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE). “College Application Week provides Montana high school seniors with a great opportunity to save money and to start planning,” Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian said. “This is a very exciting time for students and for our colleges and universities that look forward to welcoming and serving them.”
OCHE and GEAR UP work with K-12 and post-secondary access partners on the initiative including Montana’s Office of Public Instruction. “College Application Week provides all Montana students with a pathway for college opportunities,” State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen said. “This is an exciting collaboration between Montana’s K-12 and higher education systems for the benefit of our students.”
In 2013, 84 Montana high schools participated and agreed to provide structured time for application completion during the week. “Students of all socioeconomic backgrounds struggle to prioritize completion of college applications while balancing schoolwork, extracurricular activities, jobs, and their social lives,” said Zach Hawkins, director of GEAR UP. “College Application Week helps by giving them time and support.”
The initial number of participating high schools has grown steadily along with the number of applications submitted. In 2017, 3,561 applications were submitted by seniors from 142 high schools. Since 2014, all Montana postsecondary institutions have agreed to waive or defer the application fee for students from participating high schools.To apply during College Application week, visit https://mus.edu/gearup/caw.asp.