Bozeman High file

Students file out of Bozeman High in this Chronicle file photo.

Bozeman High School students can get help applying to Montana colleges next week during College Application Week.

The high school’s College and Career Center will help students complete their applications from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., each day, said Lauren Covington, center coordinator.

Many Montana University System campuses will defer or waive their application fees during College Application Week, Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.

Covington said the majority of applications aren’t free, but the fees are delayed and included later in tuition bills.

Montana’s commissioner of higher education and the Office of Public Instruction are encouraging all high school students to participate. More than 4,600 students filled out applications last year at 164 Montana high schools during the one-week event.

A survey of students who participated last fall found that 75% felt their understanding of the application process increased. More than 80% hadn’t applied to any colleges previously.

“We’re removing barriers and opening doors for Montana’s young people,” said Clay Christian, commissioner of higher education. He encourages all Montana high school graduates to seek education beyond high school, he said, “and to seek it here in Montana. Just a few years down the road, these students will build our state’s future workforce and help drive a strong economy.”

Schools that will delay application fees are, according to the commissioner’s office, Montana State University in Bozeman, the University of Montana in Missoula, Gallatin College, Bitterroot College, Montana Tech and Highlands College in Butte, Missoula College and UM Western in Dillon.

Schools that will waive application fees are MSU Billings, City College in Billings, Great Falls College MSU, Helena College, MSU Northern, Flathead Valley Community College, Dawson Community College, Miles Community College, Aaniiih Nakoda College in Harlem, Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Salish Kootenai College in Pablo and Stone Child College in Box Elder.

A high school in North Carolina held the first College Application week in 2005 to help seniors fill out and submit college applications, and it has grown into a national event in all 50 states. The American College Application Campaign seeks to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students seeking a college degree by helping them navigate the complex admissions process and removing financial barriers for low-income students to apply.

Gail Schontzler can be reached at or 406-582-2633. Follow her on Twitter @gailnews.

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