The College Application Process

Information, Steps, Resources and Tips for Current Seniors

To Do...

Please grab your senior credit check letter. Notice the courses that are needed to graduate and be sure those are in your schedule this year. Note an appointment time to meet with me to discuss your individual college needs. Don't wait for this appointment to apply. Also note that time in your calendar/planner. You'll get a pass for the appointment.

RHS High School Code; 233-195

Topics Covered

1. Steps in the College Application Process

2. Standardized Testing Information

3. Scholarships and Financial Aid

4. NCAA Eligibility Information and Resources

5. Admission Terms and Policies

6. Exploring and Gathering Information/Opportunities

1. Applying to College

4 Steps to applying to college online

Step 1: Locate and Complete the college application ONLINE. Look under the Admissions Tab or "Apply Here."

Note any deadlines, early action dates, or MERIT scholarship deadlines. The goal is to complete college applications by October 31st. Make sure to SUBMIT the application once you've completed ALL parts and double check for accuracy. Once the college receives any information from you, they will create a file. Colleges wait to receive all of the application requirements before they will consider your application. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that all required pieces are received by the college.

Step 2: Request a transcript to be sent to your college(s). Make your request through

Step 3: Send your ACT/SAT score(s) to any colleges you are applying to if you haven't already done so. Recall when you register for a test, you are allowed to send the score to 4 colleges for free. To check which colleges have your score or to send your scores, go to or Sending your scores can take several weeks to process so do this ASAP.

Step 4: Track your application, transcript, and test score to make sure they are received by the college. Colleges often times communicate with you through the email address you provide on your application or through an online portal that you log into and check. Know the system the college you're applying to uses so you can stay on top of admissions.

Sending your Transcript - Parchment

1. Go to and create an account. "Sign Up"

Creating an account takes about 5 minutes. Create your account at home because it requires an electronic signature from your parent.

2. Add Rochester High School as the school that has your transcript.

3. Select a Destination to send your transcript. Click on the Academic Institution button.

4. Type in the name of your university you want your transcript to be sent to.

5. Confirm the correct destination.

6. Select "send now" and submit.


Send ACT/SAT Score + Complete Online College App + Request Transcript = Done!

Details for Common Application Users

Apply using

Letters of Recommendation for Common Application

You will be asked to provide approximately 1-2 teacher email addresses for an online teacher evaluation and recommendation. In addition, you will need to provide your counselor's email address for an online Secondary School Report. A resume will need to be provided. Don't wait to "invite" your teachers and counselor to your common application recommendation.

Sending a Transcript to a Common Application School

1. Log on to

2. Use the above instructions for sending a transcript.

3. Select your Destination - Click on the Academic Institution button, and type in Common Application in the box. It will ask for your Common Application ID (top right side of your common application). This will link your transcript with your common application.

4. Confirm your information and submit your transcript request through Parchment.

Fields to Complete for Common Application:

Number of Students in Class: 434

We do NOT rank

AP Grades are Weighted on a 4 Point Scale

Graduation Date: June 3rd

School Code: 233-195

Counselor Info

Aliyah Caggins

Jennifer O'Toole-Seyka

Christopher Green

Dianna Sorentino

Kelly Messing-Mirabito

Melissa McKinney


Send ACT/SAT Score + Complete All Parts of Common App + Assign Recommenders and Counselor to Common App + Request Transcript (Select Common App at Destination) = Done!

Letter of Recommendation Guidelines

•Select adults who know you well. Most of the time colleges will suggest core teachers.

• Ask “do you feel you know me enough and do you have enough time to write a supportive letter of recommendation”

•Give them a completed resume.

•Give them a couple weeks to write it

•Give them stamped envelope addressed to the college if it is NOT a common application school and there is no online process.

•Thank them and write them a thank you note.

•Follow up with them if you are accepted.

•*Remember to check each school's college application requirements. Most schools in MI except for U of M, do NOT require a letter of recommendation.

If you had an extenuating circumstance during high school please see your counselor.

Tips for Writing a Great College Essay

8 Tips for Crafting your Best College Essay

Your essay can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills.

Crafting an Unforgettable Piece

Tell your story. Set yourself apart.

9 Essay Writing Tips to WOW

Additional College Application Tips

1. Record your logins/passwords for each online application in one place.

2. Double/triple check the information you supplied before submitting your online application.

3. Create professional sounding email addresses for your college applications. Clean up social media if necessary, admission reps may 'google' you.

4. Get GREAT Grades, so you will not be in any danger of graduation AND so your college admission is not withdrawn!!!!!

Applying to the Military Academies

See your counselor for contacts.

Skills Gap: Leaving Good Jobs Unfilled

Oakland Community College, Baker College and many other schools have certificate programs and associate programs that typically take between 1 - 3 years to complete. These train you in specific careers. Look at ALL your options, not just a 4 year Bachelor's Degree.

Some examples of these careers include:

Careers such as Ultrasound Technician, Respiratory Therapist, Welder, Electrician, Diesel Mechanic, HVAC (Heating and Cooling), CAD (Computer Aided Drafting)

Apply by going to their website and following the steps listed.

2. Standardized Testing and Sending Scores

SAT/ACT Testing and Scores

If you still would like to take or retake the ACT or SAT the dates are as follows.

· ACT: Test date Oct 26th, Dec 14th, and so on. Register at

· SAT: Test date Oct 5th, Nov 2nd, and so on. Register at

Make sure you send the scores to colleges you are applying. We do NOT send ACT/SAT scores with your transcript: RHS - 233-195

You will want to make sure your score(s) get to your colleges in time for application deadlines. If the college does not have a test score your application is incomplete.

3. Admission Terms and Policies

Regular admissions: apply by November and you are usually notified in April

Rolling Admissions: colleges review applications in “batches” and make their decision in about 4-6 weeks. Apply ASAP! (September/Early October)

Early action/notification: apply by the University early deadline and get an admissions decision in advance; this is not legally binding.

Early decision: apply early and get an admissions decision in advance- this is legally binding if you are accepted and you must go to that school.

On-site admissions

Open admissions: examples are Oakland Community College and Macomb Community College

What Happens After you Apply

The College Application Process: you applied, what’s next…..

College Responses to college applications:

1. Accept: You will receive info on housing, orientation, financial aid

2. Defer: They will ask student to provide more information. 1st semester grades, updated test scores etc.

3. Wait list: Students just have to wait. They are still considering your application, but must hear from the admitted students first before they may offer you admissions.

4. Deny: cannot offer you admissions. (You could check on Jan-term admissions or a summer start.)

College Application Process Timeline

  • Apply to College Before Nov. 1
  • Complete the FAFSA - after Oct 1 but before March 1
  • Colleges send "award letters" to your home - Late Feb/Early March. Each college you're accepted to and is referenced in your FAFSA will send you a letter on how much it will cost to attend that school. It will include information on any grants, loans, or merit scholarships from that specific college. At this time, you are encouraged to sit down as a family and talk about which college will meet your needs best, including financial obligations.
  • Make a deposit to the college you are selecting to attend - typically May 1. Check the college's deadlines to be exact.

During the time referenced above, you are encouraged to look for scholarships through the counseling webpage (check monthly) and other scholarship search tools (listed in the scholarship section of this presentation). You also need to continue to be a hard working student and keep your grades up.

4. Scholarship & Financial Aid Information

Scholarship Tips

1. Explore College/University Scholarships

· Most colleges have a scholarship webpage, so check it out.

· Contact the financial aid office at the college

· Ask for scholarship brochures while on a campus tour

· Join the college mailing list

· Talk to the admission advisor

Merit Scholarship - Be sure to look at the merit scholarship deadlines and criteria on each college's website. You may want to submit your 1st semester senior year grades and/or take another ACT/SAT and submit the score if that qualifies you for a merit scholarship.

2. Check out at least one or two FREE scholarship search engines. (never pay to search for scholarships)






The above are just examples of the many available search engines.

3. Check out the Scholarship folder on RHS's Counseling Webpage

4. Financial Aid/FAFSA

o Remind your parents they can begin to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1st.


o Financial Aid Presentation

Financial Aid and Scholarship Newsletter

12th Grade Checklists

MI Student Aid

Explore TIP (Tuition Incentive Program) if you received Medicaid coverage for 24 months within a 36-consecutive month period between the ages of 9 and high school graduation.

Complete the application - over the phone or via the mail BEFORE you graduate from high school. 1-888-4-GRANTS

Other Scholarship Programs through the State include: MI Tuition Grant, Children of Veterans Tuition Grant, Fostering Futures Scholarship and others.

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Paying for College: Understanding the Financial Aid Process

WHEN: September 24th 6pm to 7:30pm

WHERE: Administration Building

501 West University Drive

Rochester, MI


This presentation will be hosted at the district office. The FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) and other financial aid resources will be presented and discussed. Bring a pencil to take notes! Presenter-college financial aid officer Greg LIttle.

5. NCAA Eligibility for D1 and D2 College Sport

If you plan to participate in Division I or II sports in college you must register and send your ACT or SAT scores to the NCAA Clearinghouse; code 9999. Also it is very important make sure that your courses meet academic eligibility requirements; (For example, Intro to films is NOT an approved English course and students should be taking another approved English course such as Myths, Strange/Mysterious, Poetry, and Exploring Lit). NCAA has very strict eligibility rules and expectations. Please register and see counselor ASAP.

6. College Exploration, Research and Gather Information

Sign up to speak with a college rep - College Visit

College Night

College Night at Rochester High School


Tuesday, Oct. 8th, 6-7:30pm



180 S. Livernois Rd

Rochester Hills, MI



Approximately 90 colleges from Michigan and around the country will be represented at this college fair. Bring your questions and an open mind.

Extra Details

University of Michigan Early Action Deadline


Nov. 1st, 12am


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Ann Arbor, MI


Early Action Deadline. You will hear decision by 12/24

Michigan State University recommended deadline


Nov. 1st, 12am


426 Auditorium Road

East Lansing, MI


For maximum scholarship consideration, seniors should apply by November 1.

A college may request 7th Semester Grades and/or Midyear Reports

If you receive a request for 7th semester grades or midyear report from your college you must submit a request at See your counselor or Mrs. Garr, the counseling registrar, if you have any questions.

Important details if your senior schedule changes after you apply

Your senior schedule is included on the transcript. If you must make a change in your schedule once you have sent your initial transcripts to the colleges , you MUST contact each college admission office to update them with your change.

Making Your Senior Your Count

Colleges look at your senior year course selection

Colleges look at senior grades

Many letters of acceptance will say "your admission is contingent upon your continued successful performance."

It is not at all rare for a college to withdraw an offer of admission when grades drop significantly over the course of senior year.

Maintain a challenging course load and stay active and involved.

Advanced Placement Tests

You need to contact your college to see their policy. The college you select will need your scores if you want to try and earn college credit. These can be sent through your college board account.

Grit, Perserverance

Be a WISE CONSUMER! Be sure there are job opportunities lined up with your training/schooling. Be sure your money and time are being invested in a future career.

Live your Best Life. Prepare for your future opportunities now!

Options - Associates Degree, Certificate Program, Apprenticeships

  1. Receive 2 year degree (associates)
  2. Take courses and tests for a certification (usually 2-3 years in specific programs and directly to career)
  3. Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled and in demand occupation.

Community College and Transferring

  1. Transfer to 4+ year (Bachelors degree program) college after 1 or 2 years
  • Know where you want to end - transfer to
  • See transfer equivalency charts at each school of interest (MI Transfer Network)
  • Save money on the core/required courses but know where you want to end- college and career
  • Look into transfer scholarships
2. Take a class in the summer (always check w/ current college!!)
  • Save money
  • Couldn’t get in class during fall/winter semesters
  • Want to get through faster
  • Want a lighter load during the regular year

USE Michigan Transfer Network to help guide how credits from one college will transfer to another.

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