University waives fees for student applications

Applications are pouring into Colorado Mesa University this week as part of a push to encourage high school seniors in the region to apply for their next opportunity in higher education.

The school has waived application fees until midnight on Sunday for seniors who want to apply for admittance. Last week, the university received 200 applications, according to John Marshall, vice president for student services. He estimates the school will receive 400 applications this week, a result of the fee waiver.

Marshall said the school waives the fees for a week for two main reasons – to encourage students to apply early and to provide an incentive for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to apply. He said it’s important to recruit local students, no matter their financial status.

“We serve a population that is, on the whole, a fairly high-needs population,” Marshall said. “That extra little incentive is pretty meaningful for a lot of families in this valley.”

The fee-free week is also meant to encourage all high school seniors in the university’s 14-county region to get their applications in early and think about their next step, Marshall said.

“Big picture, we know that it’s really, really vital for students to have a postsecondary credential of some type, whether that’s a four-year degree or a welding certificate or something in between,” he said.

Last year, the school received about 10,000 applications and enrolled approximately 2,700 students, he said.

Normally, the university charges a $30 fee with applications, the same amount charged by Adams State University in Alamosa and Western State Colorado University in Gunnison.

Though the free week ends on Sunday, Marshall said he wants any students who cannot afford the $30 fee to not consider that a barrier to applying, as someone who demonstrates a financial need can be offered assistance.

“We would obviously want that student to come talk to an admissions counselor,” he said.


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