Seniors in high school are encouraged to apply for college, but many don't know where to start.
Using funding and resources from a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs grant, Ardmore High School took seniors through the entire process last week.
"I've been wanting to apply," said senior Kasey Scheerger. "You're usually told to apply, but they don't tell you how. With GEAR UP, we were sent to a website with all the steps."
Students received folders with information about state colleges, including comparison charts on tuition and application fees, and sample application essay topics. They also received jump drives for storing application information.
Everyone was encouraged to wear college gear and emphasis was placed on starting the application process.
The ACT deadline loomed Friday, so students were encouraged to not let it pass.
"We wanted to get excitement up before the last day to register for the ACT," said Jan Hayes, AHS counselor and GEAR UP coordinator.
Volunteers also came to the school to help the seniors through the application process.
Because Murray State College does not have an application fee, students were able to apply and be guided through the entire process without having to pay any fees.
In addition to Murray State, Scheerger applied to Rose State College and Cameron University and plans to study sports management.
Scheerger has not taken the ACT, but with the guidance he has received, he is now on the path he wants to be on for post-high school.
"I had no idea whatsoever," Scheerger said. "They said we'd like you to apply to take the ACT. They set me straight on what I was going to do."
Senior Marquelle Hanson enjoyed learning about the different colleges, with Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City Community College and Oklahoma State University becoming his favorites.
"OCU sent me a financial aid booklet, and I need to take the ACT," he said.
However, Hanson has not taken the ACT yet.
"I've been avoiding taking the ACT. I was brushing it off and missed the deadline," he said.
"Now, it was like why not just go, so I'm taking it Dec. 8."
Hanson plans to study art and wants to draw cartoons and animation, which he has studied at a previous school.
"It all balanced out," he said. "They went over why apply and how to do it."
Senior Natali Langland has taken the ACT, but is looking to improve her score in order to improve her chance for scholarships. She also appreciated learning about the other parts of the college application.
Page 2 of 2 - Langland plans to study petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma.
"I have family members in that business, and my greatest subjects are math and science," she said.
Future GEAR UP activities include the freshman class visiting Murray State College and the junior class attending the University of Oklahoma.