1.Fill out and complete college application.

Most applications can be found online at individual college websites.   As part of the admission process you will be required to fill out some basic application material that will include personal information about yourself and your high school academic career and activities.

Applications: Common, Coalition & College Specific

Many colleges utilize the convenience of online application platforms such as the Common Application and the Coalition Application.

·         Common Application: Many colleges that are on your list will accept the Common Application. This application is used to simplify the transmission of applications to colleges and will reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fill out basic information typically found on all college applications. Because the Common App, as it is often referred, is only online. You must complete the following steps:

  • Create your account
  • Add Schools to your list
  • Gather your application information
  • Submit your application

You will also need to sign the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act Authorization Release form or FERPA on your Common App. Essentially, you will be asked to waive your right to inspect any admissions related documents such as recommendations once enrolled at a college. If a release is NOT waived, colleges may choose not to read your recommendations because of fear that a recommender may not be as candid if they know that the student may review their writing. For more information, http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Once you have created your Common Application account. Be sure to save the username and password information in a reliable, safe place. It is not possible to establish a second Common App account if you do not know your login information.

·         Coalition Application: This is the newest online application platform being introduced for the 2016-2017 admission’s cycle. Like the Common App, the Coalition App will allow you to complete basic information and submit to all member colleges where you are applying. Because this is new, there are a limited number of colleges using it this year. Check the Coalition Application site for member colleges and more information. Create a Coalition Application account.

·         College Specific Applications: A small number of colleges have their own applications and essay prompts. These are typically accessible through their website. After you apply. Colleges will often acknowledge receipt of your application through an email. They may assign you an applicant/student ID. Be sure to save this information and login right away to be sure you do not miss important information through their portal.

2. Complete the admission essay

You will also likely be asked to write an admissions essay when applying to college. Usually the school will provide a number of prompts for you to choose from. In some cases, you may be able to choose your own topic. Be sure to proofread your college admissions essay carefully. Many students also ask a teacher or another adult to proofread their admission essay and provide feedback.

3. Letters of Recommendation

Some colleges also require college recommendation letters. These usually can come from teachers who are familiar with your work. Colleges seek current information from your teachers (junior year preferred) or counselor to assess your development as a student and academic ability. Often two academic recommendations are suggested for each college where you intend to apply. Some students may also get recommendations from coaches, church leaders, community service organizers, or other adults who can attest to the student’s skills and work ethic.

You should speak with your teacher or counselor in person to request a recommendation. Teachers need at least 3 weeks prior to your first college deadline to write a thorough recommendation.

After your teachers or counselor agrees to write your recommendations, you will need to provide them with your senior resume and bio. This will provide them with some personal information about your accomplishments, involvement, and goals that will help them tremendously in the writing process.

4. Transcript Request

All colleges will need an official transcript sent to them (typically up through your junior year). It is your responsibility to request a transcript from the counseling department. Stop by the front office and fill out a transcript request form for each school you will need one for. If the school you are applying to utilizes the Common Application or SendEdu (electronic document transfer system) your counselor will send your official transcript through this avenue.

5. Sending Testing Scores

You are responsible for making sure official test scores get sent to the colleges you are apply to. Most college websites will provide you with information as to whether they want test scores sent directly from SAT(Collegeboard.com) or ACT (actstudent.org) or if they are willing to accept them from your high school. NWCS includes test scores on the front of any requested official transcript.

6. Application Deadlines

Each college has an application deadline. The deadline is either one the college establishes or if you are applying to colleges with a Rolling Deadline, you will need to decide on a date when you will be sending your application. We suggest the 1st or 15th of the month which are typical.

Remember to follow the transcript request timeline to ensure all school documents and recommendations are sent by the college deadline!