By: Li-Chu Wong and Adela Gutierrez
As you all know, College Application Day is on Wednesday, but before you hit the ground running on that application, here’s a few things to remember for your college application.
You can send your transcript using CFNC.org free of charge to in-state colleges. Remember to check it thoroughly before you send it. If you are applying to an out-of-state college, be sure to ask for an official transcript from your guidance counselor. You are allowed four free transcripts. After the fourth transcript, each transcript costs $4.00.Allow enough time for your transcript to arrive at the college. It is also very helpful to have a transcript handy when filling out your application. You will need to see your GPA, class rank and past, current and future classes.
- Recommendation Letters
Don’t forget to ask for recommendation letters from your teachers, community members, and even employers. Most colleges require at least one recommendation. It is better to ask for a recommendation letter from a teacher that you have had in the past year than a teacher from two or three years ago. It is important to ask people who know you well. Give your recommenders plenty of time to complete your letter (at least a few weeks) and give them all the necessary information: deadlines, where to send the letters, and a list of extracurricular activities.
- Test Scores
Order your SAT and ACT score reports from the College Board or ACT; these organizations will send an official score report to your specified college or colleges. ACT allows you to send four free score reports when you register. The College Board allows you to send four free score reports between the time of registration and nine days after you take your test. Once these opportunities have passed, a fee of $12.00 per score report per college is applied. However, the College Board offers score report fee waivers for students that qualify, but the ACT does not (they only offer a registration fee waiver). Check with your guidance counselor to see if you are eligible.
One of the most important details to remember is to send your scores with sufficient time in advance. This can be between one to three weeks, depending on the college. You do not want to have to pay the large rush fees. The College Board charges a $31.00 rush fee and ACT charges $4.50 more per score report per college.
FAFSA is a form that determines your eligibility for student financial aid. Even if you are not eligible to receive financial aid from FAFSA, it is still required for you to apply to scholarships. FAFSA requires you to provide:
- Your Social Security number
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers
- Federal tax information
- Records of your untaxed income
- Information on cash, account balances, and investments
For a full list of all the requirements, check out the FAFSA website listed below.
College essays are an essential part of many applications. They are not required by every college, but it is very important to get them right. Through essays, colleges want to get to know you at a more personal level. Your college essays should be personal, but still formal. Most colleges will give you a question or prompt that they want you to answer. Once you complete your essays, have someone else read over it and provide you with feedback. It is good to get a teacher to look over your essay. Try to get as much advice as possible, you want to present your best product.
- Follow Up!
Remember to check the status of your application about a week after you submit it. Many colleges allow you to check the status of your application on their online portals.
To make the application process easier, keep a calendar of deadlines and a list of your many usernames and passwords (they pile up fast).
For more information check out the following websites:
- Guidance Office Website