Taking Advantage of Free Applications


Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, Laura Armstrong, helping senior Ashlynn Olson fill out her common application!

As the end of senior year is coming up fast, Air Academy High School offers great opportunities for soon-to-be graduates. One of the upcoming events for seniors is Colorado’s fifth annual Free Application Day, which is happening from October 18th to the 20th. This opportunity inspires students to carry on with their education. This event is used to plan an increase in Colorado’s college-going and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates. 

However, this opportunity is not only for seniors. This five-week campaign offers help to juniors and adult job seekers as well. 

There are 32 public colleges and universities that are available for students to apply to for free. Some colleges include the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), Colorado State University (CSU), University of Colorado Colorado (UCCS) Springs, and so many more!

According to the Colorado Department of Higher Education website, there were a total of 56,896 applications in the year 2020. $2.3 million dollars total was saved in application fees, with more than 100 Colorado high schools participating. In 2021, the number of applications increased by nearly 6,000!

“I wasn’t planning on going to school in Colorado after high school, but I still took advantage of this opportunity. I got accepted into the CU, UCCS, but I ended up going to Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC). And I’m glad I applied. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan after high school if your main goal doesn’t work out,” former Air Academy student, Lana Meyer, stated.

After you apply, it’s important to file the FAFSA. FAFSA offers grants, scholarships, and financial aid.

“I originally wanted to go to school in California but I graduated in 2020 during the Coronavirus. I didn’t think I would get the real college experience and I didn’t want to waste money applying out of state and other school fees,  just to sit in front of my computer. PPCC was a good backup plan to save money. After COVID died down, I was able to apply to schools in California and ended up moving there,” Meyer stated.

Application fees can be intimidating for some people, whether it’s not being able to financially afford it or feeling unmotivated to apply after seeing the application fees. The fact that Colorado students have the opportunity to apply for free is great and beneficial.

“I think the free application day is a great chance for students to save money. I’m planning on applying to at least 10 Colorado colleges, and I’ll be saving a lot of money. Not only do I save money, I also have a lot of choices to choose from,” senior Ashlynn Olson said. 

This amazing opportunity allows all kinds of students and even underprivileged communities to see where they could get in. Be sure to submit your application before October 20th to get the application fees waived!