RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia high school students are getting hands-on assistance in applying for college as part of Virginia College Application Week. The event that began Monday is part of a national initiative designed to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students pursuing higher education. This year officials say 43 Virginia high schools in 32 districts participating in this program. State education officials and groups are joining with principals, counselors, coordinators, and volunteers to provide help to more than 8,600 students. Gov. Terry McAuliffe is encouraging students to pursue higher education in order to build a 21st century global economy.