The College Application Process

The College
Application Process
How to choose and apply to the right
school for you
Which one is right for you?
College Choice
Finding the Right Fit
• Number of students
• Location
• Fields of study (available majors and minors)
• Living quarters (dorms, apartments, etc.)
• Safety
• Available activities (sports, student organizations)
Finding the Right Fit
• Meal plans
• Research, internship, and field experience opportunities
• Class sizes
• Faculty access
• Admission standards / requirements
Researching Colleges and Majors
• My Big Future
– Search for colleges based on many different criteria, explore college
majors and careers, and get tips on applications and essays
• College Navigator
– Search for colleges based on many different criteria
• Indiana Career Explorer
– Take interest inventories and explore careers which may interest you
Comparing Schools
Research college admission standards
– What high school classes should I have taken in order
to be a good candidate?
– What high school GPA does the college require?
– Does the college require an SAT or ACT score?
– What does my SAT or ACT score have to be?
– What kind of diploma do I need (Academic Honors,
Core 40, or General)?
Preparing to Apply
• Determine what you will need in order to complete the
application for each school
Test scores
Essays or Personal Statements
Letters of Recommendation
Resume (list of extracurricular activities, leadership positions,
and service activities)
Requirements can vary by school. Determining what you
need for each application before you begin can help
you stay organized.
Test Scores
• Does the college require an ACT or SAT score?
• Will the college accept my ACT or SAT score reports
from my high school, or do I need to send them directly
from my ACT or College Board account?
Letters of Recommendation
• Will the college review letters of recommendation?
• Whom should I ask to write me a letter?
• What should the letter discuss?
– Academic achievement
– Leadership
– Service
– Work ethic
Essays and Personal Statements
• DO try to demonstrate commitment and leadership
rather than just a list of every activity in which you have
• DO allow your personality to shine through what you
• DO express a strong interest in attending a particular
school if you genuinely have one
Steps for Success
Applying to
Applying to Colleges
Once you know what each school requires, you are
ready to complete the application(s).
Most schools prefer that you complete the application
Be sure to check and see if the college requires a
counselor form to accompany your transcript.
Applying to Colleges
After you complete the application, you should submit a
CHS College Application Cover Sheet for each school
to which you have applied.
Remember that if you have applied to one or more
schools on the Common App, you should ask Mrs.
Elaman to send your transcript to the Common App
rather than the individual schools.
Remember to bring $1 to the guidance office for each
transcript you want sent.
Applying to Colleges
When you ask Mrs. Elaman to send your transcript, bring
all materials you want to accompany your transcript,
including letters of recommendation, personal
statements, counselor recommendation forms, etc.
Avoid asking for the transcript to be sent, then bringing in
the counselor form or letters several days later.
Frequently Asked
What is on my CHS transcript?
• Cumulative GPA
• Current class rank
• Course titles and semester grades for all classes taken since
freshman year
• SAT and ACT scores, if any are in your file
• Titles of classes you are currently taking
Your transcript does not include your current grading period
GPA, your ECA scores, or your PSAT scores.
Can you tell me my weighted GPA?
No, all Warrick County School Corporation high schools
use an un-weighted GPA only.
Many colleges prefer to apply their own formula to
calculating your GPA for admission purposes.
A school profile is included with each transcript sent to
give admission staff perspective on your academic
How can I get an application fee
The College Board has application fee waivers available to
students who are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch
program. However, in order to be eligible for the application
fee waiver, the student has to have taken an SAT using a fee
If you are eligible for a fee waiver, see Mrs. Elaman to pick it
up and fill it out.
Can you send just some of my test
scores to a college?
No, the transcript does not allow me to deselect any of your
ACT or SAT scores. I have to send all of them or none of them.
Should I waive my right to view a
Yes! Of course, the decision is yours entirely. However, you
should know that college admission reps will trust a
recommendation more if you have waived your right to see it.
Your safest bet is to only ask for recommendations from
people who will be able to provide positive evaluations of
Will it cause a problem for me if my
transcript arrives at the college a little
later than my application?
No, that is normal. The college will start an admission file for
you, then update it as they receive more information. Just be
aware that they cannot give you a decision until they receive
all the information they require.
What should I do if I asked you to send
a transcript but the college says they
don’t have it?
Don’t panic! This happens all the time. I keep a record of the
dates on which I sent out all transcripts. I am always glad to
tell you when I sent your paperwork. Then, you should call the
admissions office and tell them when I sent it to see if they
have it. Colleges are often behind in opening mail during
peak application season. As a last resort, we can re-send.
When should I start applying to
The applications for many schools go “live” in early August.
Check the deadlines of the schools in which you are
interested to make sure you apply within plenty of time. Also
make sure to note the difference between a “received by”
deadline and a “postmarked by” deadline and request
transcripts in a timely manner according to that.
Is there an advantage to applying
earlier rather than later?
That depends on the school. Some schools hold all
applications received by a certain date, then release all
those application decisions at once. In that case, as long as
you apply by the deadline, you have equal consideration
with other applicants. Other schools offer admission on a
rolling basis. If this is the case, sooner is better because
admission will only get more competitive as time passes.
Should I apply Early Decision or Early
Action, if the option exists?
Early decision is binding. That means that if that college
accepts you, you will withdraw all other applications and
attend that school.
Early action is not binding. If you are accepted to a school
under early action, you are still allowed to decline the offer.
Other Recommendations
• Whenever possible, the student (rather than the
parent) should communicate with the admissions
• Always complete applications in ink, not pencil.
• Carefully proofread all application materials.
• Create a professional-sounding e-mail address for use
with applications.
• Clean up your social media accounts. Make sure your
digital footprint reflects you as you want to be seen.
For More Information
Mrs. Sarah Elaman
[email protected]
(812) 858-3408

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