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First Georgia Apply to College Week Promotes Increased Access for Underrepresented Communities

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Atlanta — November 6, 2008

If you are a high school senior and unsure about applying for college, a new pilot program – Georgia Apply to College Week – will help you get started.

The first Georgia Apply to College Week (GACW) will be held the week of Nov. 11-13 at eight participating Georgia high schools. While open to all seniors at those schools, the program will provide college application information that planners hope will encourage and aid those who would be the first in their family to attend college, minorities, and non-traditional age students.

“Numerous studies have shown that having a college degree creates opportunities, career-wise and financially. Georgia is a state that is focused on making sure that all citizens have the opportunity to learn. We are excited that so many agencies and organizations in the state share this focus and want to make sure that students explore all that Georgia has to offer educationally and beyond,” said Tonya Lam, associate vice chancellor for student affairs. During the Apply to College event at their high school, seniors can apply to college using http://www.GAcollege411.org, an online resource to help students and their families select a college, apply for admission and plan to finance higher education. The GAcollege411 website offers access to information about colleges, universities, and technical colleges throughout Georgia.

Volunteers from Georgia colleges and universities will be on hand to assist students as they complete their applications. All post-secondary institutions in the state were sent information regarding the event and were encouraged to waive their application fee for the duration of the event, and 13 colleges and universities have agreed to do so.

In early June, all Georgia high schools were invited to participate in the pilot event. Applications were received from 50 high schools from across the state and eight high schools were selected to participate in the pilot event. The following schools were selected:

  • Mountain Education Center High School - Blairsville – Tuesday, November 11; 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Ware County High School - Waycross (Ware County) – Wednesday, November 12; 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Loganville Christian Academy - Loganville – Wednesday, November 12; 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
  • Terrell Middle High School - Dawson (Terrell County) – Wednesday, November 12; 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Gainesville High School - Gainesville (Gainesville City) – Wednesday, November 12; 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Cedar Grove High School - Ellenwood (DeKalb County) – Thursday, November 13; 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Hardaway High School - Columbus (Muscogee County) – Thursday, November 13; 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Thomson High School - Thomson (McDuffie County) – Thursday, November 13; 7:45 AM – 2:45 PM

This event is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Foundation of Independent Colleges, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia (USG), and endorsed by the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The event is receiving funding from the College Access Challenge Grant, a federal program that fosters partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants that are aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Governor Sonny Perdue has proclaimed November 11-13, Georgia Apply to College Week, noting all citizens of the state of Georgia deserve an opportunity to learn – and earn - and college provides this opportunity.

The University System of Georgia (USG) has made creating access to college a major priority by making access a priority in the System’s strategic plan. System officials project the USG’s 35 institutions could gain an additional 100,000 students by 2020. Another objective of the plan is to increase the diversity of USG enrollment by enrolling more under-represented groups, including minority students, nontraditional-age students, economically disadvantaged students and first generation students.

For more information on GACW, please visit http://www.usg.edu/apply-to-college and for more information on the Strategic Plan, please visit http://www.usg.edu/strategicplan/two/index.phtml.

The opinions and positions expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent the opinions and positions of the U.S. Department of Education. Any references within the document to specific education products are illustrative and do not imply endorsement of these products to the exclusion of other products that are not referenced.

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