New higher education program to help high school seniors

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) will implement Apply Missouri 2015, a program to help high school seniors with the college application process. This program will be available to all high schools in the state. 

"Some students, especially if they are the first person in their family to attend college, may not be very familiar with the process. It can be complicated, sometimes. This would provide some assistance to them with that application process," said MDHE Director of Communications Liz Coleman.

Coleman and the MDHE have contacted every school in the state about this program stating that they will provide training and guidance if the school decides to participate. 

"Schools can choose to participate. This is just a program that we hope will generate a little bit more attention to the importance of higher education," she said. 

MDHE ran two pilot programs in 2013 and 2014 called Missouri College Application Week. In 2013, 26 high schools were involved and more 2,000 students submitted application. Last year, 55 high schools participated and nearly 2,900 students applied for college. 

Coleman said that she hopes that the number of schools will double this upcoming year because attending college is becoming more important in the state of Missouri. 

"By 2018, nearly 60 percent of the jobs in Missouri will require some form of higher education, either a two-year or four-year degree or professional certificate," she said.

Some schools in the state have much higher rates for students attending higher education than others, so this program, that will be implemented in September and October 2015, will really focus on helping and encouraging students to apply for college through fairs, assemblies and other activities.

"Other schools don't have as high of rates and a program like this would help create a college going culture where students consider college as a possibility for their future and learn about the opportunities that are available to them," she said. 

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