College Application Week produces a paperwork push

November’s State Board of Education College Application Week was a hit.

Now, like expectant high school seniors, the State Board is playing the waiting game.

All told, 10,503 seniors filled out 15,412 college applications during events at their high schools. By contrast, 8,716 seniors took part in College Application Week in 2016.

“We are clearly generating more interest among high school seniors in thinking about college, but we have more work to do to ensure they actually enroll and graduate,” State Board Executive Director Matt Freeman said in a news release.

The College Application Week events at 81 high schools tie into the State Board’s larger campaign to convince high school graduates to continue their education.

Under the state’s Direct Admissions programs, nearly 23,000 seniors received letters last fall saying they were eligible to attend some or all of the state’s eight colleges and universities. Meanwhile, nearly 9,000 students filled out college applications on the state’s online Apply Idaho website.

All of these initiatives are designed to improve Idaho’s postsecondary completion rates, which ranked No. 45 in the nation, according to a national study released earlier this month. In 2016, only 40.6 percent of Idaho adults held a college degree or professional certificate.

The State Board wants 60 percent of Idaho’s 25- to 34-year-olds to obtain a degree or certificate.

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