The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


NC Countdown to College Month & college admissions

Photos by Ashley Turner
English teachers pictured for Countdown to College Month spirit week. Staff is dressed in all black to celebrate twin day.

College Application Week, Oct. 16 through Oct. 20, was a great way for college-bound seniors to save money, as most in-state colleges waived their application fees. Athens Drive High School celebrated in many ways, participating in Spirit Week and offering college admissions help. What many don’t know is the N.C. Countdown to College Month occurred through the rest of the month of October. The event, mandated by Governor Roy Cooper, hoped to push seniors toward their college pathways.

During this time, the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) highlighted many important steps of the college application process. The month’s origins started from just one high school in 2005, and now not only does the month serve as an opportunity for students to get ahead as they prepare for the future, but many other states are beginning to adopt similar programs following its success. CFNC focuses on helping students register for state residency and federal student aid (FAFSA) as well as their applications during the month.

Athens Drive High School showcases local college banners on the wall outside of the school’s office. (Photos by Sophie King)

“All of the counselors have met individually with seniors and completely gone through transcripts. Last week, Monday through Thursday, we had students come to the media center where we assisted with CFNC and Common App,” said Anita Crutcher, school counselor.

Athens Drive advisors are just one of many resources available for college-bound seniors. Athens Drive College Prep Club, founded last February, is ongoing in its mission to help students make the college admissions process a little less scary for students.

“We decided to create the club to provide a place for students to get resources from professionals and teachers when it comes to the college application process,” said Paige Parrish, senior at Athens Drive. “We help one another through the process by having an accepting and welcoming place for all students of Athens who strive to achieve their future goals.”

The club had an especially active role in North Carolina’s college application week, educating students about the unique financial advantages the week had to offer.

“We were a place for students to come for help and aid one another in this financially accessible opportunity. It is a great way to encourage more students to apply to college who may not be able to otherwise,” said Parrish.

Although October may seem early to many seniors applying to most of their top-choice colleges through February, many suggest preparing as early as freshman year of high school for the lengthy process.

“The sooner you start, the better. A lot of students will wait until their senior year,” said Crutcher. “One of the things that is very important also is when you are doing your course selection… Your electives are an opportunity to learn about different careers and what things are required, so it really starts your ninth-grade year, so when you get to your tenth and eleventh-grade year, you have a little bit of an idea of those things you want to do and you don’t.”

Crutcher stressed the importance of doing proper research when deciding which college fits one’s individual needs. Though academic research is important, many overlook how the overall experience of college will shape young adults as they move on to a new path in life. The community an incoming student will find through extracurriculars, clubs, and other school-specific opportunities is an aspect often not considered.

“When you go to that college campus, will you find yourself in a club? Will you find yourself in a cause? What is offered? Every college campus doesn’t offer the same things. Why do you want to be a part of that community? It’s not just about academics; it’s about also being a part of a community where you grow as a person and to make that community better than you left it,” said Crutcher.

To seniors who may have missed the event: don’t fret! There are still plenty of opportunities for help through November before college applications are due. For any students based in North Carolina applying for FAFSA, the SECU provides free assistance to attain that aid during November. Students who want to stay up to date should refer to CFNC’s page on Countdown to College Month for more information.


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