The College Application Process
Some more tips to help you successfully manage the multi-step college application process. Seniors, in addition to the information outlined below, be sure to read our comprehensive college-prep timeline for a month-by-month checklist of all the steps you should be taking — and when — during your senior year.
So you think you’re ready to apply to colleges?
WAIT! There are several things you need to do before you pick up that pen! Have you…
- Researched your career areas to determine what college majors you are interested in?
- Made sure the colleges you are interested in offer your major?
- Done a search on Naviance to see which colleges offer everything you’re looking for in a college?
- Looked through the college Web sites and catalogs to learn about the courses you will need to take?
- Looked at college Web sites/catalogs or gone on Naviance to determine what the admission requirements are for each college? Mohonasen’s counselors recommend that students have one “safety” school (academic and financial safety), two schools where you seem to fit the profile, and maybe a “reach” school (academic or financial reach).
- Called ahead to visit the school? Gone on a tour of the campus? Picked up an application and interviewed with an admissions representative? This is a good opportunity to share what you have to offer each other and assess your chances of being accepted at a particular college.
All right! So now you have applications, right? If not, then check with your counselor to see if he or she has one. If not, call the college and ask them to mail you an application or apply online.
So now you’re ready!
- BEFORE you start — Get a pen, the college application, the instructions, a piece of paper (to make a list), your activity sheet and your application checklist.
- READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!! Do you need a black pen?
- Use a pencil first to fill out the application OR make a photocopy to fill out a practice application. The goal is to avoid submitting an application with mistakes or cross outs.
- Follow the instructions thoroughly for each application item.
- Use the sheet of paper you have to list the things you have questions about and make a list of the other things you need to complete the application (teacher recommendations, application fee, activities sheet, etc)
- Read the application checklist for information about Mohonasen needed to complete the application. Our school code is 335103.
- Fill out the Application Checklist and return it to your guidance counselor along with the completed application.
- EACH completed application MUST have an Application Checklist for a cover sheet!
- Request written recommendations from teachers, counselor, coaches, etc. and provide each person with the necessary forms. Recommendations must be requested a minimum of two weeks before you need them!
- Attend Senior Information Night for college application process information. The date is on the district calendar, flyers are mailed home and information is also publicized on the website as it draws near.
- Check each application deadline and be continuously aware of this date. Applications are due to your counselor AT LEAST two weeks before the due date to the college.
- KEEP IN MIND — Counselors will always make time to see seniors, but please schedule appointments in advance to make sure there is sufficient time to work with you, answer your questions, etc.
- Read application essay questions carefully and select one. Work with an English teacher on this. Give a draft to your counselor to review for content and suggestions. Start this early!
- Carefully look over your completed application and have Mom or Dad look at it also.
- Include a check for payment of the application processing fee. Read instructions for who to make the check out to and write your name and social security number in the “memo” portion of the check. Include that in the envelope for the application.
- Drop off your finished application to your counselor or preferably, make an appointment to go over your applications with your counselor. Ask any questions from your list and have your counselor double check that you have everything.
- Now relax, if possible, and wait it out. Good luck!
- When you hear back from any school — let your counselor know the verdict right away!
Now…think you’re done? No way!
- The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form can be filed as early as October. Check in the Counseling and Career Center to see if a copy is available, or visit the FAFSA Web site for information on how to start preparing.
- Check to see if the CSS/Financial Aid Profile is required by any of your schools. The College Board Web site has a list of the schools that require it.
- Attend the Parent Workshop on Filling Out the FAFSA in January for help with that form.
- Send in the completed FAFSA by February 15th or sooner. Don’t wait until all the college’s money is gone!
- Check over the SAR (Student Aid Report) from the FAFSA processing center and return it as soon as possible. (It should arrive about five weeks after you submit the FAFSA.)
- Wait for college acceptance letters and financial aid packages to begin arriving in April.
- Decide which college you will attend.
- Send in your deposit by the stated deadline to secure your spot at college.
- Begin packing and save your money!!!
Now once you get there:
- Remember to use those study skills.
- Read, read, read!
- Stay organized.
- Have fun.
- Get involved.
- Remember to call or write your Mom and Dad once in a while!