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Free application day and college preparation for seniors

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Infographic by Madeline Klayer, Source: Melissa Muniz

  The upcoming Colorado Free Application Day on Oct. 15 will be an opportunity for seniors applying to college to submit an application to prospective colleges with no fees involved.

  “There are no fees, so it’s completely free to apply to Colorado colleges,” said Melissa Muniz, head of Post Grad. “It can get a little confusing for students; you can’t apply to every college for free, but it is guaranteed for public universities and two-year colleges.” 

  There is a comprehensive list of eligible colleges on the Post Grad website, and many students are already planning to use this day to save money. Samantha Johnston, senior, said, “I will definitely be taking advantage of this day, and I think a lot of others will be doing the same.”

  Muniz said this day is especially important because “for students that felt like money was a barrier, it eliminates that barrier. Another thing is that Colorado institutions love Colorado students. They love when students stay in state and can continue their education where they started.” This is also a fairly recent event, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, according to Muniz.

  According to Muniz, the average college application can average around $50, and can even be as much as $90. According to Post Grad data, the average HR senior applies to six or seven colleges. Muniz said, “It can be a crucial money saver.”

  In terms of writing the best application possible, Muniz has tips to make a student stand out to their ideal colleges. “The higher quality applications come from students who have done the research on what the application is asking for, and they strategize based on that,” said Muniz. “Low quality applications, I think, come from students who basically wing-it. They just start it without understanding the process and the components ahead of time.”

  When it comes to essays that often accompany these applications, Muniz offers advice to “not write out a quick personal statement. You may want to plan it out first, starting it in a word document and having a teacher or friend look it over before pasting the final draft.”

  Jenna Wain, senior, understands the importance of a quality essay. She said, “You have to learn not to rush through what will become such a big part of your future. Sitting down and really focusing on completing the best application possible will not only give you a better chance of getting into an ideal college, but also gets you used to the level of writing they will expect in college.” Wain has already attended 2 college visits and interacted with representatives. 

  Students also may want to consider college preparation beyond applications, including efforts outside of grades and test scores. Muniz said, “A lot of colleges are moving towards that holistic review, which means they are looking at everything. They’re not just simply taking in your test scores and GPA and spitting out the decision, although that is still how some colleges do it. They are considering your letters of recommendation, specific course work, extracurricular activities, if you’ve visited the campus or attended a college visit.” 

  To be the most prepared for the future, Muniz suggests making personal relationships to “make yourself known for more than what’s just on paper”. Muniz said, “It’s important for students to take initiative of their future, whether it be college or other options, and now is an especially important time for seniors to pay attention to the available opportunities to excel.”

Madeline Klayer, Online Editor

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Free application day and college preparation for seniors