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St. Paul


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Steps for Completing a College Application


Steps for Completing a College Application

Number One Rule: Watch Your Deadlines. Applications will be processed in the order they are received. You must allow at least 10 school days for the counseling office to process your applications. There are often advantages to completing your applications well ahead of any deadlines.
1.  View the application from each school to which you are applying.
2.  Read each application carefully and watch for these items:
  • If you will require a COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION (see notes on COUNSELOR REC)
  • If you will require an ESSAY, (see notes on ESSAYS).
  • Watch for DEADLINES and for ADDITIONAL MAILINGS REQUIRED (like mid-year reports).
3.  Complete each application carefully. 
Three tips: Be Neat; Be Complete; Be On Time. Make sure your application reflects you at your best.  Take your time. 
4.  Complete the Transcript Request in Naviance for each application.
  • Check to see if your letters of recommendation have been turned in using Naviance. Not all colleges require letters. Go to the "Colleges" tab, "Colleges I'm Applying To" and it will show the teacher's name and if the recommendation has been completed.
5.  Mrs. Schmitz will submit the completed application materials.
All of the necessary materials, including your transcript, will be submitted depending on how the college prefers to receive the material.  Mrs. Schmitz will send a fee waiver (if needed), ACT scores, and any letters of recommendations.
Common Application
Common Application
Some schools allow you to use the Common Application to apply to several schools using the same basic form. Please be careful and note that there are several different pieces that have to be accessed and completed individually. Also check to see if the school requires an additional supplement to the Common Application. You will also need to link your Common Application to your Naviance account. Click here to learn how to link your Common Application to Naviance.
Letters of Recommendation
(Only Required for Some Colleges)
If you will require letters from teachers, you should complete and give a request form (yellow) to each teacher. These forms are available in the College Center. If you are using the Common Application, this must be noted to the teacher on the request form. The teacher will upload your recommendation to Naviance. These letters are considered confidential, so the counselor cannot show them to you.
Note: Colleges typically like to see letters of recommendation from core subject area teachers (10th & 11th) and usually do not require more than 1-2 letters.
Allow plenty of time. If a deadline may be a problem, point out the date on the request form to the teachers and make sure they will be able to complete the references on time. Teachers should be allowed at least 3 weeks to write your letter.
**Your request date of completion should not be the same date as your college admission deadlines - remember the counseling office needs 10 school days to process your paperwork once we have received the letters.
To check to see if your letters of recommendation have been turned in using Naviance 1.) Go to the "Colleges" tab 2.) "Colleges I'm Applying To" and it will show the teacher's name and if the recommendation has been completed.
If your application requires an essay, please visit Writing the College Essay for additional information.  You may find it helpful to show your rough draft to a Communications teacher and/or other readers to get input. Make sure your final copy is carefully checked for grammar and spelling. 
If you are applying online, no one will get a chance to proof read it for you. 
Your essay is your chance to make a personal impression - make it a good one!
Activity/Extra-Curricular Involvement 
Remember that the person reading your file does not know what some of our acronyms mean. For example, Club Y.E.S. Let them know that Y.E.S. stands for Youth Extending Service. Take the opportunity to explain what the club is about. Make no assumptions! Tell the reader about your activities!
Final Reminders
  • Complete your own application. You are the one applying to college.
  • Fill out the application completely, do not leave questions blank.
  • Call the school if you have questions about the application or process.
  • Read over the application for errors. Have a parent proof your application before hitting submit.
  • Keep a copy of your applications and essays.
  • Remember to write a nice thank you note afterward to those individuals that wrote letters of recommendation on your behalf.
  • Remember to allow 10 school days for the counseling office to process your applications.
  • Teacher recommendations must be in Naviance before the counseling office will accept your Transcript Request Form.
  • Don't forget to bring the $5 processing fee for each application/transcript you want sent at least 10 school days before the application deadline.
Be aware of your deadlines (you are responsible for knowing the deadline for each of your applications. Pay very close attention!!!!!!

Don't panic. If you get a note from a college saying that part of your application is missing, don't panic. In all likelihood, it is at the office and simply hasn't been entered into the system yet. Check Naviance to see when your materials were sent, and give the college a few days to sort the mail before you request that we send a second set of documents. Confused? Questions? Stop into the College Center and I will help! Or, you can call 651-744-3703.