It's hard to believe it's already time to start thinking about back to school for next year.
It's College Go! Week across Indiana, and one high school in the Michiana area is participating in a few new ways this year.
In addition to the traditional college fairs and extra push from teachers, Washington High School is implementing a freshmen/senior night Wednesday for students and their parents to learn more about what to expect in college prep. These nights have existed in the past, but never during College Go! Week.
Washington High School is also offering a College Roll Through activity Wednesday, for small groups of students. Those groups will visit several area schools on campus to get a first-hand view of what college has to offer.
Washington is offering a college mentor program throughout the year, and college visits from area schools. IU South Bend and other small area schools waive their application fees this week, and provide on-the-spot admission decisions. Students also get the chance to win a $500 scholarship.
Brian Bloem, Guidance Director at Washington says the goal of this week is to encourage students to apply for at least one college. "It's always very hectic at the beginning of the year, and this always comes just after school starts but it's an excellent way to get kids moving."
"It puts it in front of them, gives them a chance to see what's out there. A lot of what we do is convincing students to make some college visits. To visit with the representatives when they come here. We get them to the St. Joseph County college fair, which is going to be next year. We just use all this opportunity to educate students," says Bloem.
A Washington student says this week is important because it provides students a push they may not get otherwise.
"It could open their eyes to opportunities to see what they could benefit for later in life. With the free application fee, it would push them to go, and get it, instead of have them fork out $35 from their parents or their own stack," says Ryan Cegelarek, a Senior at Washington.
Cegelarek also says the incentives of College Go! Week make him want to apply more. " It gives [students] more time to apply to different places, gives them time on their application and just gives them more time to apply... I definitely think it's a good idea because $35 is crazy and I'm not the person who would want to pay $35 for an application fee."
For more information on College Go! Week visit: http://www.in.gov/collegegoweek/index.htm, or talk to your local guidance counsel or faculty member about what your school is doing.