Governor Tomblin declares statewide “College Application and Exploration Week”

College Application and Exploration Week

Students in the West Virginia GEAR UP program attended a “College Prep Rally” hosted by Concord University as part of the fourth annual West Virginia College Application and Exploration Week event.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has designated this week as “College Application and Exploration Week” in an effort to help students prepare for college. Nearly 150 schools across the state will participate by hosting a variety of hands-on college planning activities including college application workshops, panel discussions with current college students, and college scavenger hunts and trivia contests.

Students of all ages – from kindergarteners to adult learners – will learn about the importance of pursuing higher education and the different types of college options available including certificate programs, two-year degree programs, and four-year degree programs. Students who are of college-going age will work one-on-one with counselors, teachers, and volunteers on hand to help them complete admissions applications.

“College Application and Exploration Week is an innovative approach to engaging students in preparing for education and training beyond high school” Governor Tomblin said. “Choosing a college is a monumental decision in an individual’s life, and it is important that we help our students make informed choices that are aligned with their goals, interests, and needs. Many of our students will be the first in their family to go to college. College Application and Exploration Week is a chance for us to create a fun and welcoming environment to allow those students – and their parents – to seek help in navigating the admissions and enrollment process.”

The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) coordinates the annual “College Application and Exploration Week” event. CFWV is a college- and career-planning initiative led by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in conjunction with the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.

Last year, approximately 80 schools hosted activities and nearly 4,500 students applied to college during the one-week event. This week marks the first time that elementary and middle schools have participated.

“One of the most exciting things about this year’s effort is that we’ve expanded our work into elementary and middle schools across the state,” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, said. “Research and experience show that we must take a “cradle to career” approach to supporting the educational development of our students. Promoting lifelong learning and building a college-going culture are critical components to ensuring West Virginia’s future success. Individuals who learn more, earn more – and they give back to our communities and fuel our economy.”

Any elementary school, middle school, high school, or adult basic education class in West Virginia can participate in College Application and Exploration Week. Participating schools were asked to register in advance and were provided with a toolkit for implementing the program. To learn more, visit, the state’s free college- and career-planning web portal.

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