For the first time, every public four-year college and university in Virginia will participate in a program helping thousands of Virginia high school students apply to college.
During Virginia College Application Week, November 13-17, participating students are encouraged to submit at least one college application.
This year, 66 high schools across the Commonwealth are participating in this college-access program (see Resources, below). Participating high schools have 50% or more of students eligible for free or reduced lunches.
Among those taking part this year are 41 postsecondary institutions including all 15 public four-year colleges and universities, the Virginia Community College System and seven Virginia private nonprofit institutions.
Twenty-two institutions are offering on-site acceptances. Many are waiving application fees. Every public institution in Virginia is offering a fee waiver or no cost for completing an application to eligible students participating at Virginia College Application Week school sites.
The University of Mary Washington has taken part since 2012, when the weeklong event began in Virginia. In recent years, the university has sent participating school sites “care packages” filled with college information, university-branded “swag” and candy to help celebrate students applying to college.
“At the University of Mary Washington our campus values, and strives to create, a diverse and supportive community for all students,” said Melissa Yakabouski, director of undergraduate admissions for UMW. “We’re doing what we can to remove barriers — both perceived and real — that prevent students from considering and pursuing higher-education opportunities. That’s why UMW has been part of Virginia College Application Week for many years.”
William & Mary chose to waive its $75 application fee for students participating in the weeklong event.
“William & Mary is looking for the very best students, from all backgrounds,” said Tim Wolfe, William & Mary’s dean of admission and associate provost for enrollment. “We’re delighted to participate in this year’s Virginia College Application Week, which will help us attract the most accomplished and diverse applicant pool possible.”
In Virginia, SCHEV and Educational Credit Management Corp. are joining with higher-education institutions, the Growth4VA campaign, school divisions and volunteers who provide hands-on application assistance. Additional resources available to students during the school day include computer lab time, application-fee waivers and informational materials, making the college-application process more accessible to students with limited access to resources and advisers.
“To build a stronger Virginia, everyone needs a chance at an education after high school,” said Peter Blake, director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. “College Application Week is a key step toward that goal.”
Virginia College Application Week is part of the 1-2-3 Go! campaign, which is designed to guide senior high school students through the steps of 1) preparing, 2) applying, 3) paying for and 4) going to college. Virginia College Application Week is part of step No. 2 in the initiative, assisting Virginia’s students and families in applying to college.
The Virginia Plan for Higher Education specifies college access and completion as among the top goals for the Commonwealth as it aims to be the best-educated state by 2030.
About Virginia College Application Week and list of participating high school sites: http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/resources/123go!/virginia-college-application-week.
About 1-2-3 Go!: www.schev.edu/123Go