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Parts of a College Application

filling out a college applicationYou, the student, are responsible for sending colleges your application and some additional documentation.

Your high school is responsible for sending your transcript and a secondary school report (if required). If a teacher agrees to write a letter of recommendation, that teacher is responsible for submitting it.

But following your school’s policy for requesting transcripts and letters of recommendations is your job. Know what you are expected to do!

Listed below is everything that could be required. You might not be asked to submit everything on this list to every college. For example, there are many colleges that do not require students to write essays. There also are many colleges that do not require standardized test scores.

Official Transcript
Your transcript is a record of all your high school courses, grades, and credits. Other information that might be included on a transcript includes: GPA, class rank, standardized test scores, and courses in progress. This is normally sent directly from your high school to the college.

Standardized Test Scores
Testing agencies will send your scores to the colleges that you request.

The Application Form
You are responsible for completing an application form and submitting it by the college deadline. Many schools accept The Common Application, the Coalition Application, or the Universal College Application. No matter what school or what application, these may be important components:

  1. Personal and educational data: Name, address, phone number, email,  citizenship and residency information, high schools you have attended, college credits you have earned, parental information, senior year schedule, and standardized test scores.
  2. Honors and awards
  3. Extracurricular, personal, and volunteer activities
  4. Employment, internships, and summer activities. (Some colleges allow you to submit a résumé to supplement the activity section of their application.)
  5. Essays: Both short answer and a longer personal essay are sometimes required.
  6. Disciplinary information
  7. Application fee: Many colleges will accept fee waivers which can be obtained from your counselor.
  8. For certain majors, students might be required to audition or be asked to submit a portfolio of artistic work.

Secondary School Report Form or Counselor Recommendation Form
If required, the high school is responsible for submitting this form to the college. However, you will need to request that it be sent. It is important to know and follow your school’s procedures.

Mid-Year Report Form
If required, it will be submitted by your high school. However, you must request that it be sent. The purpose of the form is for the college to see your grades from the first term of your senior year.

Teacher Recommendation Form
If required, the teacher is responsible for sending it. However, you are responsible for asking a teacher to complete it and giving that teacher all the necessary information. Look over the form and imagine what one of your teachers would say about you. Colleges want to hear from teachers who know you well and can share examples of your work ethic, inquisitive nature, and motivation to learn.