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The #WhyApply campaign celebrates the college application season by sharing supportive and motivating messages on social media about the importance of college and why students should apply. Whether applying to a certificate program, two-year college, or four-year university, celebrating this critical and necessary step on the journey to postsecondary education is essential. 

Working in the world of GEAR UP data, “Why?” is such an exciting sentiment, and we’re glad they asked. Data can help explain why to apply to college.

1.)    You need to apply to get accepted. Every college and university has a different acceptance rate, ranging from 1% to 100%. Free college acceptance calculators can help you determine your odds, but most require creating an account. 

2.)    Applying to college might be free, mainly if you apply during your state’s College Application campaigns, use an ACT/SAT fee waiver, or submit the NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver.

 3.)    What is better than a free college application? Free college, especially if you major in a high-demand technical career field at a community college in one of the 29 states listed in this report.  

4.)    New jobs: A report by the National Bureau of Economic Research states that “70% of new jobs created since the 2008 recession were in occupations that typically require a bachelor’s degree.

5.)    To make more money: According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce “The College Payoff” report, Bachelor’s degree holders generally earn 84% more than those with just a high school diploma,— and the higher the level of educational attainment, the larger the payoff.