Holyoke High Hosts Massachusetts College Application Celebration


On November 15th and 16th, Holyoke High hosted their third annual Massachusetts College Application Celebration event, also known as the MCAC. The MCAC is a statewide initiative in Massachusetts that’s geared toward pushing more students to apply to college. This event was for seniors at Holyoke High, and it was created to show them some of the local options they have for post-high school graduation.

This event was run by the Gear Up program at Holyoke High. The Gear Up program is run by Mary Colon, and she helps coordinate college field trips and college fairs for our students. The Gear Up program helps students through the long, and often confusing, college application process by making sure they are prepared and by helping them with FAFSA and the Common Application.

Holyoke High seniors had an opportunity to talk to college admissions representatives. Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Fenn, thought it was beneficial for both the students and the college representatives. “I feel like a lot of the times ou students don’t get an opportunity like this,” she says, “Usually they just submit their paperwork, and they don’t even have a face-to-face conversation with the college unless the college requires an interview. Our students were able to present themselves in a professional way in front of these college representatives, and that is an important skill for students to have before graduating high school.”

Ms. Colon invited many colleges to this event. The colleges that were in attendance were: American International College, Asnuntuck Community College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Holyoke Community College, Keene State College, New England Institute of Technology, Pine Manor College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Westfield State University, Western New England University, and Worcester State University.  

Students were also able to talk to military representatives. If they aren’t interested in going to college, they were also given the option to meet with career point to look for part time jobs. If the students were not interested in doing these alternatives, and they were done talking with colleges, they had time during this period to work on the common application or any other college related things. This year, mostly local colleges were in attendance, but The Gear Up program is open to inviting more out of state colleges in the years to come.

The MCAC event was a success and many seniors enjoyed this opportunity. “It was a great experience and it opened my eyes to all the options I have after high school,” said senior, Serena Dennis.  At the end of the MCAC event, there were a total of 259 applications started, 173 on-the-spot acceptances, and $984,000 awarded in scholarships. The Holyoke High School students and faculty are excited for these seniors futures and hope the MCAC events are as successful in the years to come.