COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) - College is expensive.
This week though, Colorado high school students who apply don't have to worry about application fees.
The 5th annual Colorado free application day begins Tuesday and continues until Thursday. The goal is to help students seek higher education and not have to worry about as many application fees.
Mackenzie Nelson, a student at Doherty High School, spent Tuesday afternoon applying to her dream school.
"I love that we have this day for Colorado so that I don't have to spend like $50 for an application," said Nelson.
That can add up when you're applying to multiple schools.
"If you think about it, what if you pay $60 and you get denied? For many families, that can cause hardship," said Munstafa, a student at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs who also applied during this campaign two years ago.
Thousands of students across Colorado are taking advantage of this week to apply to any public state university and some private colleges. Leilani Mullins, career and access coordinator for District 11 says this is going to benefit 1,500 of their seniors.
"D-11 has a vast range of socio-economic statuses and the majority of our students access opportunities for any kind of financial help whether they have that low or high socioeconomic status," said Mullins.
Last year out of the more than 62,000 applicants, 45 percent of applications were submitted by students of color.
Sierra High School, located on the Southeast side of Colorado Springs says this week is big for them.
"A lot of times our students are really nervous about how much it costs to go to school. Opening the doors and taking down those barriers is essential for our kids to feel like they have access and opportunity," said Nicole Schurbon, principal at Sierra High School.
This week is also important for universities like the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, which reports that 70 percent of their applications are submitted by Colorado students.
"These two days are probably our highest peak when it comes to application volume. We get thousands of students taking advantage of it and it is absolutely wonderful," said Jenna Press, assistant communications director for the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Colorado Free Application Day runs through Thursday. Last year more than 60,000 students participated and $2.5 million in fee applications were waived.