Applying to college

Welcomrecommende to your senior year of high school! Graduation may be waiting for you right around the corner, but one obstacle stands in the way: college applications. You’ve learned a lot in high school, but never specifically on how to apply for college. Don’t stress though, we are here to help. Before you know it your mailbox will be full of acceptance letters!


Common Application: The Basics

  • Check to see if your colleges use the Common Application- nearly 700 schools do, but some only have applications through their school website
  • Start early- this will give you plenty of time to go back and make revisions as needed
  • Make sure you are putting activities in order of importance
  • You only have 150 characters to describe each extracurricular activity- make each word count
  • Don’t work on your essay in the Common Application- type it up in Microsoft Word and then paste it over when you are ready.

Essay Tips

  • Start in the summer- many schools release their essay topics during the summer, so start writing before senior year starts. Your future self will thank you.
  • If you get to choose between several prompts, pick the one that speaks to you the most
  • Write with personality- this is your chance to show a part of yourself that the rest of the application can’t
  • Keep an eye on your word count
  • Don’t stress- college admissions will look at more than just your essay, so write as well as you can, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Letters of Recommendation

  • Try to choose someone that knows you well and will have lots of positive things to write about
  • Give your recommender a resume or “brag sheet” to remind them a little about yourself and your interests
  • Don’t be afraid to follow up- if it’s been two weeks and you haven’t heard anything from them send a polite email reminding them of the deadline
  • Give thorough information on how to submit the letter- does it need to be submitted online or do you need a physical copy?
  • Be sure to send a thank you note

How to Apply to College:

How to Send Transcripts:

Resource Links:


Apex High School Academy of Information Technology

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