'That last little nudge... you can't go to college if you don't apply'

'That last little nudge... you can't go to college if you don't apply' »Play Video
Students walk near the Erb Memorial Union on the University of Oregon campus.

EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon said their push to get the state’s graduating high-school seniors to apply for college was successful. 

UO’s “College Application Week" attracts the attention of potential collegiate candidates and helps them take the first step toward a higher education.

"It’s really about ensuring students - particularly low income and first-generation college students - have support through the college application process,” said Adrienne Enriquez of the Oregon University System.

Jim Rawlins, the University of Oregon Director of Admissions, called the program a success, as UO saw an increase in first-time enrollment.

"We're always very eager to see students get where they want to get. First of all, you can't go to college if you don't apply,” Rawlins said. "This was that last little nudge they needed to get excited about applying for college."

That same push was felt at other universities around the state. Oregon State also saw a jump in first-time enrollment and their student population grew by almost 5.8 percent.

This all fits in with governor Kitzhaber’s 40-40-20 education plan. By 2025, he expects 40 percent of adult Oregonians will have a bachelor's or advanced degree, 40 percent will have associates or certificate and the remaining 20 percent will have at least a high school diploma.

While it is a steep goal, educators say focusing on the college application process is taking steps in the right direction.