Nov 12, 2013 8:45 PM by MTN News - Helena
HELENA - Governor Steve Bullock was joined by Office of Public Instruction Ssuperintendent Denise Juneau at Helena High School on Tuesday to launch "College Application Week."
OPI has teamed up with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education's Montana GEAR UP program, to encourage more Montana students to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities.
A press release from OPI says that as a result of the partnership, more than 5,200 seniors from 84 high schools will have the opportunity to apply to a college this week and have the application fee waived or deferred.
"There are so many opportunities available for the class of 2014, and I want to make sure students and families are aware of their options for life after high school," said Juneau. "We know that Montana has some of the brightest students in the country, and we want to get these bright students enrolled in post-secondary programs."
"Ensuring today's students are trained for the jobs of tomorrow supports a strong economic future for our entire state," she added.
Statistics show that In 2010, 61% of Montana high school graduates enrolled in college in the fall semester immediately following graduation.
The goal of College Application Week is to provide an opportunity for all seniors at participating high schools to complete one college application, as well as to promote excitement and enthusiasm about college exploration and preparation.
Eighteen of Montana's colleges and universities are participating in College Application Week by agreeing to waive or defer their application fees.
"When a Montana student has the opportunity to gain an education beyond high school - be it two-year or four-year program - they're better equipped to find a job that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families, as well as playing a pivotal role in our state's economy," Gov. Bullock said.
"We should be doing everything we can to remove barriers to educational opportunities for Montana students."
"We are excited about College Application Week and the doors it begins to open for our students. We tell our students...that a high school diploma is not the end of their education, but rather what is required to lead them into the next stage of their journey," Helena High School counselor Chrissy Murgel said.
"Whether it's a certificate program, a two-year program or a four-year program, students must further their education to be competitive in today's job market. A high school diploma is not enough to feed a family and live a comfortable life," she added.