College Application: Best Practices
Class of 2024, Nolan Catholic High School
COLLEGE CHECKLIST - STAY ON TASK!
COMMON APPLICATION - How to complete each section!
Common App - My Colleges Tab
Common App - My Colleges Tab
- Add each college you're applying to using the Common Application.
- Review the requirements for each school. Do you have questions, short answers, or essays required by each school? You can come back to this later!
- Recommenders and FERPA (under each college's tab. Only need to complete this once and it applies to all the schools you're applying to using the Common App!)
- FERPA Release Authorization - Complete. It is recommended that you waive your right to see your letters of recommendation. (You must first complete the Education section on the Common App tab prior to completing the FERPA).
- Do Not add Recommenders! You've already done that by requesting letters of recommendation.
Common App Tab
#1 Common App - Profile Section
- Use your legal name.
- Enter your social security number if you are interested in financial aid, merit scholarships, or federal or state loans or grants.
- Use an email that you check often.
- Common App Fee Waiver - if you're not sure if you qualify --ask your Guidance Counselor.
#2 Common App - Family
Ask your parents for help!
#3 Common App - Education Section
- Date of Entry: August 2020 (unless you transferred to Nolan Catholic)
- Graduation Date: May 17, 2024
- Counselor contact information: Mrs. Johnson, email@example.com; Dr. Quarles, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mrs. Martin, email@example.com, Mrs. Perales, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Counselor title: Counselor
- Phone number: 817-457-2920 (do not add the extension)
- Colleges and Universities: If you are currently taking or have taken a Dual Credit Class add Tarrant Community College.
- Grading Information
Class Rank Reporting: None
Class Size - 168
GPA Reporting Scale - 100
GPA Weighting - Weighted
- Current or Most Recent Year Courses
List Senior year courses from most academic to least.
Course title should be clear to someone who does not attend Nolan Catholic
- Honors - Example would be Honor Roll or National Honor Society
#4 Common App -Testing
- Check the requirements for the schools you're applying to
- Compare your scores with average scores of admitted students
- Not sure? Check with your counselor.
#5 Common App - Activities
How to write an amazing activity in your activities list:
Activities #1-3 should be the the activities which are most current, you are most involved in, and are most important to you.
State role and organization name in top box.
Emphasize tangible, measurable impact.
Use active verbs!
To save space, use lists and cut extra words. No need for complete sentences.
Aim for variety. Mix it up! For example, don't put all athletic activities in a row.
Avoid extreme language.
THREE TOOLS FOR UP-LEVELING YOUR ACTIVITIES LIST - HERE (The College Essay Guy)
#6 Common App - Writing
This essay will be submitted to every school you apply to using the Common App.
- Essay prompts HERE.
- Choose one prompt. They are all evaluated equally so choose the prompt that you have something to say about.
- Keep in mind! College admissions officers are looking for 3 things in your essay:
- Who is this person? Make it about you!
- Will this person contribute something of value to our campus?
- Can this person write?
- 650 Word limit.
- Get FEEDBACK! Ask an English teacher, parent, counselor to read and your essay and make suggestions.
- The College Essay Guy - How to Write a College Essay: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide - HERE
#7 Courses & Grades
- You only need to complete this if you have colleges that require it.
- If you do need to complete this section, you'll need a copy of your transcript. Email you counselor for a copy.
APPLYTEXAS - How to complete each section!
JULY 1 - ApplyTexas
- Application opens July 1 for most Texas public universities.
- Application opens Aug 1 for University of Texas at Austin & Texas AM.
- Update Naviance "Colleges I'm applying to" list -- add application type and application deadline.
- Application type should be "direct to the institution"
Step 1 - Create your ApplyTexas profile
Step 2 - Begin your ApplyTexas application
- Follow the directions to “Start a New Blank application.”
- This is where you can create a new application based on the templates provided - either “4 year university undergraduate admissions application” or “2 year college admissions application.”
- After choosing the appropriate template, select your “Target University” or “Target College” (aka the school you are applying to!) from the drop down menu. You will need to complete this step for each Texas school you want to apply to - but don’t worry, you can replicate a previous application so you don’t have to reenter every piece of information!
Step 3 - Personal and educational information
- Your high school - Nolan Catholic High School, 4501 Bridge Street, FW TX 76103
- Dual credit courses you’ve taken - add Tarrant County College
- Expected graduation date - May 17, 2024
- Senior year courses
- Optional - Social Security number (if possible) is important to make sure you receive a complete financial aid package from the school you are applying to!
Step 4 - ACT or SAT test scores
- The ApplyTexas application has a section to provide your SAT or ACT scores.
- Many schools are moving to a test optional application so double check the requirements for schools on your college list.
- If you're still not sure whether to submit test scores, see your counselor.
Step 5 - Extracurricular and employment information
- List the clubs, teams or other organizations you have participated in throughout high school.
- List any employment (paid or unpaid).
- Make sure to include a clear description of every activity.
- Indicate any leadership positions you have held.
- List any awards, honors, or distinctions you received during high school.
Step 6 - Supplementary requirements for the institution
LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
5 Step Letter of Recommendation Process
- FERPA Release (Naviance > About Me > Surveys > FERPA Release).
- Resume (Naviance > About Me > Resume). Your letter of recommendation writer will use this to reference what you have been involved in throughout high school.
- Letter of Recommendation Questions (Naviance > About Me > Surveys > Letter of Recommendation Survey)
- ASK 2 teachers and/or counselor to write a letter of recommendation for you.
- When the above items are done, complete this FORM!