Event helps students apply to colleges

LOGANVILLE - Loganville Christian Academy senior Andre Jones applied to a college Wednesday morning using GAcollege411.org, an online tool designed to help students select a college, apply for admission and plan to finance higher education.

Less than an hour later, Jones returned to his school's computer lab to complete more applications, taking advantage of 20 colleges' offers to waive application fees during Georgia Apply to College Week.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Jones said.

Loganville Christian Academy was one of eight schools in the state selected to participate in Georgia Apply to College Week, a pilot program designed to encourage high school seniors to pursue higher education.

"Numerous studies have shown that having a college degree creates opportunities, career-wise and financially," Tonya Lam, the Board of Regents' associate vice chancellor for student affairs, said in a news release. "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."

Admissions representatives from about a dozen colleges visited the Loganville school to answer students' questions as they filled out the application forms.

"Some of the questions the colleges asked you don't understand the first time," Jones said. "They (college admissions officials) help you dissect the sentence."

Brand Driver, a senior, applied to seven colleges Wednesday morning.

"It's a great thing," he said of the event. "It gets students to apply (to college) when they're usually lazy about it."

Senior Zach Bradford of Lawrenceville said the presence of the admissions officials made the online application process easier.

"I think it's cool," Bradford said as he filled out an application for Gwinnett Technical College. "It gives everyone a chance to apply for the college they want to go to."

Celia Davis, Loganville Christian Academy's college admissions adviser, said the school was thrilled to be chosen for the event, which presented students with a wonderful opportunity.

"To start this process early in the senior year is going to make their senior year much less stressful," she said.

Kristi McBride, an admissions counselor at Georgia Gwinnett College, said the event was also a great opportunity for the colleges.

"It shows our commitment to making sure these students are successful right from the beginning, from the start of the application process," she said.

Georgia Apply to College Week 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 and endorsed by the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.