One goal that OHS prides itself on is sending students to their college and careers ready. One step towards this goal is Free College Applications Week. The week is held on Oct. 23-29. Intuitively, this is a week where most colleges in Minnesota will accept applications at no cost; However, two well known exceptions to this week are the University of Minnesota and UMD. Free applications are available to all high students in Minnesota. OHS has picked Wednesday, Oct. 26 to organize the process for students.
This free process is helpful for students who may not have financial support, or those who are applying to multiple colleges. Application fees range on average from 25-55 dollars, some students apply to up to 10 colleges but some also only apply to one if they know that is the one school they want to go to. Senior Jenna Zeman said this about the process, “I’m really glad our school does this since I am applying to multiple colleges and it will help me save a lot of money.”
In the past the OHS has sent out a survey asking students if they want to participate in free applications- which overwhelmingly received positive reviews. This year the counselors and other helpers will communicate with every senior on what their plan is after high school no matter what their pathway is. Counselor Ms. Margo McKay had this to say about the application process, “I think that paying the fee to apply to college is a barrier for some students, so they want to make sure that college that’s not keeping them from doing the application process. I think there are several students that would not apply if that were not the case and so I think that was why [colleges] started doing it so college can be reachable for everyone.”
If not for financial reasons, this process can motivate students. Senior Kenzie Karsten said this about the week, “This week will motivate me to start working on my applications.” Hopefully, by doing this, our school and others around the state can help more students become college and career ready. Last year the OHS had 441 transcripts that were sent for free. This is a great step towards the OHS goal of college and career readiness.