College Application Process
COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS
First Step: Applying to College
Students may obtain application forms from colleges where you have chosen to apply by downloading the applications directly from the college’s website or by applying electronically. This should be done as soon as possible after your return to school in the fall of your senior year.
Most colleges recommend or require that you apply on-line.
In addition, students can also obtain information on entrance requirements, standardized testing requirements, college costs, course offerings, financial aid information and program offerings by accessing the college or university website.
Second Step: Completing the Application
Colleges are not alike and application forms may vary significantly. However, there are some institutions that will accept the Common Application. See the following page for specific details.
A college or university typically collects five different kinds of information about its applicants:
1. THE APPLICATION – It is highly recommended that students edit their applications carefully before submitting them to the college/university. Too many students create the wrong impression by failing to carefully check spelling and grammar. It is important to pay careful attention to application deadlines.
2. SAT SCORES - Students must request that the official scores be sent directly from the College Board or ACT to each college where you have chosen to apply. Due to the Score Choice policy SAT or ACT do not appear on the official transcript. Requests for official scores may be done on the registration form, up to nine days following the test date or by submitting an additional score report from the College Board/ACT website. Submitting the additional reports to colleges after the nine days following the test date will require an additional fee.
3. THE TRANSCRIPT- Courses taken in grades 9-12 are supplied to colleges. In addition to a record of grades through four years of high school, the transcript shows the student’s cumulative GPA and rank in class. No standardized tests scores (SAT’s or ACT’s) will appear on the transcript. Therefore, it is critical that you send your scores officially through College Board or ACT.
4. THE ESSAY - This is an extremely important part of your application for it conveys your personal qualities and uniqueness as an applicant. The effort and attention you give it express the level of your motivation and how much you care about the college. It is recommended that students have a teacher review their essay prior to submitting.
5. THE COUNSELOR’S LETTER- While it is true that for admissions purposes colleges place great emphasis on a student’s academic record through four years of high school, it is also true that other factors are important, particularly when admissions officers are trying to distinguish among hundreds of students with quite similar grade point averages, SAT scores, and extracurricular involvement. The letter of recommendation from the high school guidance counselor, which is required by many colleges, can be very meaningful and decisive. Students must make an appointment to meet with their counselor and provide them with a recommendation questionnaire and activity sheet.
5. LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION – Students applying to four year colleges or universities should ask one or two teachers who know them best for a letter of recommendation. Be sure to allow ample time for the teacher to complete the recommendation. It is recommended that you allow at least three weeks for the teacher to complete this request. Some colleges require that classroom teachers assess an applicant’s ability, in which case they require applicants to obtain teacher evaluation forms. If a college does not ask for these, students need not feel obliged to send them. Recommendations from others (community leaders, coaches, employers, influential friends, etc.) are of less value to admissions officers, and should be sent only after the student has conferred with the school counselor.