Franklin Co. & RHS seniors apply for college
By Nicole Burns for the FCT
One of the most important jobs any high school counselor has is to encourage his or her students to further their education in order to achieve their dream jobs. Last week, Franklin County High School counselors took that encouragement up a notch in order to take advantage of incentives available to students.
The American Council on Education kicked off the American College Application Campaign during the first week of November, and Russellville City Schools and Franklin County Schools were enthusiastic participants. The goal of the program is to get more students applying to Alabama colleges early in their senior years. During this event students could apply to any of Alabama’s 30 community colleges, 14 independent colleges and 14 public universities, with the application fee waived. Application fees average about $25 per college. Those fees can add up for students who aren’t sure which college they want to attend and apply to multiple schools.
Vina High School counselor Sharon Sparks said, “Our slogan for the week was ‘Our Education, Our Life, Our School, Your Time is Now.’ Two parts of the slogan represents our faculty and staff that attended college, and the last part of the slogan represents our senior class.” Sparks said they had 23 seniors that applied for college.
Belgreen High School counselor Wanda Lemay said, “Almost 100 percent of the Belgreen seniors applied to at least one college during college application week.” That number echoed across the county as well. Red Bay High School counselor Micah Jackson said, “We had 46 of 47 seniors to apply for college this week. That’s 98 percent of our seniors.” Tharptown High School counselor Rhonette Bailey said all 45 of that school’s seniors have applied for college.
“This is my first year as a high school counselor, and I didn’t know what to expect, but I really think our percentage of senior college applicants is astounding,” said Phil Campbell High School counselor Brandi Gholston. “Throughout the interviews and working with these students over the past several months, I’ve seen so much confidence, determination, goal-setting and growth in them.” Students should receive letters through the mail in the coming weeks that will inform them if they were accepted into that particular school.
Russellville High School also participated in the Alabama College Application Week Campaign, which is sponsored by the Alabama State Department of Education.
As part of the Alabama college access initiative, RHS seniors were assisted in filling out and submitting at least one college application over the course of the week. Tiffany Warhurst, the campaign event site coordinator for RHS, said about 120 seniors participated with the help of admissions recruiters from Northwest Shoals Community College, the University of North Alabama and the University of Alabama – totaling 182 college applications.
This was RHS’ second year to participate, Warhurst said, but the first year to observe the campaign system-wide – involving students in every grade.
“Mr. (Heath) Grimes, (RCS superintendent) felt like it was very important for our kindergarten through eighth grade to be thinking about college because ultimately our goal is to have every child college- and career-ready,” Warhurst said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
Wahurst thanked Marnie Austin (NWSCC-Talent Search), Lindsey Oliver (NWSCC Admissions Recruiter), Kim Mauldin (UNA Admissions Recruiter) and Tara Payton (UA Admissions Recruiter) for their assistance throughout the week.
“Overall, I think we reached our goal of making all of our students college- and career-aware,” Warhurst said.
Ashley Seahorn won the drawing for the free iPad, for which each RHS student who applied to college was eligible.