College Application Week in Alabama - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

College Application Week in Alabama

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Applying to college can be daunting and intimidating for high school seniors.

Some give up before they even start.

A new pilot program, Alabama College Application Week, hopes to change that. 

Only ten high schools in the state are participating.

It's expected to go statewide next year. He idea is to give seniors especially those who probably wouldn't apply. An the opportunity to at least get in the process.

The hope, is to show these students that the door to opportunity can't be opened, unless they try knocking first.

Inside the gymnasium at Pell City High School, students fill out online applications to the schools of their choice.

Guidance counselor Cynthia Pruitt believes the "hands on" and "over the shoulder" approach works best.

"We just believe every student can go if they know what to do and what to complete," says Pruitt.  "You're not only giving them information, you're watching them complete it. It's rewarding for us because we know when we're finished that every senior has done what they've needed to, to begin their future."

Tori Roper and Danielle Bush are some of the 270 students who applied today.

Each student is required to complete five applications.

"There's always someone around to help you out with it. If you're lost on something they can come over and push you in the right direction," Bush says.

"I have a lot of friends who just applied today," says Roper. "It's really easy to get the whole application process done."

At Birmingham's Huffman High School, hundreds of seniors wanting to get a jumpstart on their future took part in a college fair.

Huffman is not one of the pilot schools in the state initiative.

But counselor Dr. Beverly Hackett, wanted to take a page from the state's playbook.

"We're getting more students to apply today, at this early point than we would have, had this not come about," says Hackett.

The proof: only 30 students had applied this time last year. Today, nearly 300 students filled out more than 1,300 applications.

One of those students is senior Alynis Smoot.

"I think it helps because a lot of people don't want to go to college. If they see their friends apply they'll want to go too," says Smoot.

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