CHARLOTTE, N.C. — High school parents and students in North Carolina have a chance to save a lot of money if they submit their college applications this week.
What You Need To Know
October is NC Countdown to College, a statewide college-access event hosted by College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC)
Many North Carolina colleges and universities are waiving application fees during College Application Week (Oct. 18-Oct. 22)
CFNC is celebrating FAFSA Day on Saturday, Oct. 23, with dozens of statewide FAFSA drive-in events
October is NC Countdown to College, a statewide college-access event hosted by College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC). Virtual help sessions are available during the month to high school students filling out their college applications.
Many colleges and universities, including community colleges, are waiving application fees during College Application Week, which runs between Oct. 18 and Oct. 22.
Rebecca Par, a senior at Independence High School in Charlotte, is one of many students taking advantage of the deal. She plans to apply to four colleges during the free application week.
Par hopes by Friday she’ll be done with the entire application process.
“I’m excited to tell my family and friends that I completed it,” Par said.
Par hopes to become a doctor someday. She’s crossing her fingers that by May, she’ll have a few options to decide the best four-year school to study pre-med.
College Application Week is open to any student who lives in North Carolina or attends a high school in the Tar Heel state. Students must apply through CFNC’s website to have their application fees waived.
Timeka Ruffin, a CFNC representative, says students should keep a few things in mind as they apply for college.
Ruffin says students should market themselves “as much as they can.” Because of the pandemic, many colleges and universities have waived SAT or ACT scores. Ruffin says that’s why the personal essay portion of the application is “more important than ever,” along with a list of activities and community service students took part in outside of school.
If a college or university doesn’t require a personal essay, Ruffin says students should still provide a “letter of information.”
“They can highlight who they are and share how the past year has shaped them to be a better person,” Ruffin said.
Ruffin also encourages students to apply to at least three to five colleges to have options when it comes time to decide.
To apply for federal financial aid, students need to complete FAFSA applications, which opened on Oct. 1.
Ruffin says parents and students should complete the forms as soon as possible to qualify for scholarships, federal student loans and grants.
On Saturday, Oct. 23, FAFSA Day drive-in events will be hosted across North Carolina. Families are encouraged to stop by an event near them if they need help filling out their FAFSA application.
For a list of FAFSA Day locations, colleges and universities waiving application fees and more information about applying for college, visit CFNC’s website.