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MEFA Pathway

Massachusetts College Application Season 2015-2016

College application season is upon us, an exciting time of year for many seniors across the Commonwealth. As we embark upon the season, students are busy putting the final touches on their college essays, securing letters of recommendation, and narrowing down their college list. The approach may vary student to student, but the end result is the same – applying to college. The college application process is not a simple one, and although it has been made easier over the years with technology, there are still many steps.

This season, 20 Commonwealth high schools will participate in the Massachusetts College Application Celebration (MCAC). MCAC is sponsored by Massachusetts GEAR UP, a college access program, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA). MEFA provides the free online college and career planning portal MEFA Pathway, which is used by all schools throughout the MCAC events. The goal of each MCAC session is to provide the guidance and support needed by students while using peer pressure as a positive influencer to encourage students to submit at least one college application. Special focus is placed on assisting students who would be the first in their families to attend college, low-income students, and those who may have not otherwise seriously considered applying to college.

I have had the honor of participating in MCAC for the past 3 years, and I can tell you from personal experience that these events elicit great enthusiasm, eagerness, and a genuine sense of accomplishment from students. To see that look of achievement, accomplishment, and hope on a student’s face has brought tears to my eyes more than a few times. Some colleges even offer on-the-spot acceptances to qualified students, an exciting aspect of these events for sure.

Each year MCAC events touch the lives and future of more students than the previous year. During the 2014-15 season, there were 2,330 applications submitted by 1,040 participating students within the 13 participating schools – amazing! The 2015-16 season will prove itself to be even more successful. This Monday, November 16th, MCAC will kick off with events at Health & Human Services High School and Humanities & Leadership Development High School, both in Lawrence, as well as International High School in Boston and New Bedford High School. MEFA looks forward to lending support to institutions across the Commonwealth as they provide support, guidance, and encouragement for students pursuing their dreams of postsecondary education.

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