To encourage more Coloradans to continue their education, Adams State University will allow students to apply for free on Tuesday, October 15 as part of the second Colorado Free Application Day.
Gov. Jared Polis announced that all 32 public colleges and universities in Colorado and several private institutions will allow students to apply for free on October 15. The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) has posted admissions application and fee waiver information for each institution at highered.colorado.gov/FreeAppDayCO.html. The day caps off Colorado Applies Month, a four-week, statewide campaign that encourages high school seniors to submit an application to a higher education program and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
“We know applying to college or technical school can feel daunting for students, especially those who are the first in their family to go on to higher education,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “By eliminating this cost barrier, we believe more Coloradans will seize the opportunity to reach higher and get the education and training they need to thrive in today’s workforce.”
The statewide push is designed to increase Colorado’s stagnant postsecondary-going and FAFSA completion rates. Despite being one of the most educated states in the country, Colorado sends just 56 percent of its high school seniors to a college, university or certificate program, and just 50 percent of students submit a FAFSA application—a key indicator of student success.
Adams State has launched new degree programs, including a new online program in Media Industry and Communication. Other new degree programs include Outdoor Education and Stewardship and Food Studies.
“Food studies and outdoor education and stewardship are the first of what will be several new degree programs,” said Adams State President Cheryl D. Lovell. “We think these new areas of study are of particular relevance to the San Luis Valley.”
Colorado Free Application Day aims to improve access to further education and training, which is becoming increasingly critical in the state’s rapidly-changing economy. Research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce shows that by 2020 nearly 75 percent of jobs in Colorado will require some education beyond high school, yet only 56.9 percent of the adult population in Colorado has earned a degree or certificate.
In response to these workforce demands, the Colorado Department of Higher Education set a goal of reaching 66 percent attainment by 2025 in the statewide plan for higher education, Colorado Rises. Increasing postsecondary enrollment and reducing equity gaps—the racial disparities in educational attainment—are priority strategies to improve access and reduce costs for Coloradans.