Greencastle-Antrim pilots program, seniors apply for college

RACHEL BARTLETT, Echo Pilot intern
G-AHS seniors Nicholas Marconi (left) and Josh Stewart applied to Shippensburg University during College Application Day.

The Greencastle-Antrim High School joined nine other Pennsylvania schools on Friday, Nov. 14 to pilot a College Application Day (CAD) for seniors. CAD's goal was to “increase the number of first generation, low-income students pursuing a college degree or higher education,” according to the informational pamphlet.

Senior Megan Witmer commented, “It's given me a step in the right direction towards my future goals.”

CAD was the last day in College Application Week at G-AHS, which also had a financial aid night for parents and information for seniors during lunch about colleges and the application process. On Friday, about 80 seniors participated in CAD and gathered together in the library to start the next chapter in their lives.

They met with local admissions counselors from Shippensburg University, Millersville University, Shepherd University, Hagerstown Community College, Gettysburg College, Penn State Mont Alto, Messiah College and Harrisburg Area Community College to learn more about the individual schools. Shippensburg and Shepherd had an instant decision day, which meant they waived application fees and provided instant decisions on admission.

After meeting with them, the seniors were able to ask questions and then start applying. The high school counselors, Jenniffer Everetts and Diane Reed, paired with G-AHS college advisor Dionna Wright to aid in the application process. They helped the students submit transcripts, write essays, and complete their applications to colleges of the students' interests. The high school was hoping to increase the quality and quantity of college applications for their seniors, boosting their chances of further education after graduation.

Making application

Lindsay Carbaugh, G-AHS senior, applied to Harrisburg Area Community College and Hagerstown Community College. She said, “College Application Day has helped me by being more alert and aware of what I have to prepare for in my future.” Garrett Sutton said that it has “made me feel more secure in my future decisions.”

Josh Ehko applied to Taylor University, Judson, Cedarville, Liberty, and was already accepted to Geneva, also participated in CAD. He commented on the school's programs in general, “They have given me the opportunity to see what I do and don't like doing. Job shadowing has helped me figure out which field I should look into.”

Some other seniors who participated are Hannah Zimmerman, who was accepted into California University of Pennsylvania and wants to pursue a degree in speech pathology, and Rachel Bartlett, who was accepted into Shippensburg University's English program to become a high school teacher. Brooke Zeger applied to Shippensburg in hopes of majoring in business management and minoring in interior design. Ian Rohrbaugh applied to Hood College and Erica Helm applied to Shippensburg. Christopher Puffenbarger applied to Millersville, Shippensburg, and Shepherd.

Extra help

Also in attendance during CAD were the high school's college ambassadors. A new program started by Wright, these juniors learned financial aid terminology and the application process to help their senior peers. Wright comments, “They help with getting word out on things that have to do with college to the student body. They plan events, help with bulletin boards, and send information out to other students.”

Even though the program is brand new, Wright and her helpers are excited and feel they are “taking that extra step to help students know what's going on in school.”

After applying to schools, each student was entered into a raffle. Prizes were provided from the colleges in attendance, and Antrim Way Honda donated an iPad mini to be given to one lucky senior to help in college. G-AHS has made every effort to provide their seniors with opportunities to become successful in their futures.

From TEAM (a program designed to focus students on their futures and careers), job shadowing, and College Application Week, it appears that all seniors have resources to help  achieve whatever they desire. G-AHS has joined the movement to push students to bigger and better success; all the students have to do is go along for the ride.