The College Application

Starting Off

Are you ready to apply for college?  Here is a detailed instruction page to help with those steps that sound complicated (it’s not so bad- I promise!)

1. Update Your College List

  1. Log into Naviance and go to the “College” tab, then “Colleges I’m applying to”
  2. Click on the pink “+” button to search for and add colleges
    1. Be sure to mark how you are applying (direct to college/Common App, etc)
    2. Be sure to mark the correct deadline for what you want (it’ll bring up the college’s deadlines)

This list is super important because it allows for us to send transcripts & letters of recs to your colleges!

2. Check The College Admissions Page

Go to the admissions page for EACH college you are applying to.  Find:

  1. How you apply (Common/Coalition App or their own portal)
  2. Deadlines and decide which is best for you
  3. Do you need an essay?
  4. Do you need a letter of rec?
  5. Do you need any other items? (audition, portfolio, interview, etc)

3. Get into your College Application Portals

Start NOW so that you’re not stressed close to the deadlines!  Check with the Admissions Pages for YOUR colleges to see what system they use.

Some Common Application Portals and when you can get into them:
California State University: CSU Apply (opens October 1)
University of California: UC Portal (opens Aug 1; can submit applications starting Oct 1)
The Common Application: Various (800+) private and state universities (open now; will switch profile to “senior” status around August)
Coalition Application: Various private and state universities (open now)

Some information to help you in the Common App: (final update 9/15)
Current class of 2023 size: 376
Class rank reporting: Decile
Decile rank: Email sent 9/15
Rank weighting: Weighted
GPA weighting: weighted

4. Connect Common App with the Naviance Portal

There are 2 parts to Connect Common App with Naviance.  Transcripts, the School Profile, and Letters of Rec come through Naviance to Common App, but we can’t send anything until they are connected.

Part 1:

  1. Create your Common App Account
  2. Enter in some of your basic information
  3. Add at least one college
  4. Go to the “My Colleges” tab in Common App
  5. Drop down the menu for one of your College
  6. Select “Recommenders & FERPA”
  7. Complete the FERPA release. (YES!)
    You are agreeing that Common App can talk with Naviance to get your letters of recommendation (LOR) and counselor forms, plus that you (the student) won’t view your LOR in the process

Part 2:

  1. Go to Naviance  –> Colleges –> Colleges I’m applying to
  2. Click on the match account button  (Big Pink Banner at the top of the page if you have not already done it)
  3. Log into your Common App Account
  4. Click to confirm match
  5. Done!

5. Letters of Recommendations

If you need a Letter of Rec (LOR) from a teacher(s) and/or your Academic Counselor, please do the following ONCE YOU KNOW YOU NEED IT AND NO LATER THAN THREE WEEKS BEFORE YOUR DEADLINE:


  • Talk to your teacher/Academic Counselor in person to ask if he/she would be willing to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Be prepared to give the recommender the information in the Personal Data Form (see below) a résumé.
  • Request in Naviance (so we can send your LOR through Common App
    • From the Naviance homepage, click on the “colleges” link
    • Click on “Letters of Recommendation” in the “Apply to Colleges” section.
    • Click on “Add Request”. You can only request a recommendation from one teacher at a time. Therefore, you will need to complete separate requests for each teacher from whom you are seeking a recommendation. Click the drop-down box to find the teacher who will be writing your letter of recommendation.
    • Choose “all current and future colleges”, unless a school to which you are applying limits the number of letters of recommendations it will accept. In that circumstance, you need to choose specific schools to which your recommendation(s) will be sent.
    • In the “Personal Note to Teacher” box you should thank your teacher for taking the time to write a letter for you. You can also include any specifics that you want to be mentioned in your letter. Click “Submit Request” to send your teacher recommendation request.

IMPORTANT: If your application requires a counselor recommendation, please notify your counselor via email and through Naviance. Requests for letters of recommendation from a counselor should be made at least two weeks prior to the application deadline, but the more time you give, the better!

Starting in 2019-20, our counselors would like students to submit additional information via an online form. We have gotten feedback that this additional information can make a big difference in our letters.
Mrs. Owen- Please click here to access the form
Mrs. Driver- Please click here to access the form

6. Personal Data Form/Counselor Forms

To help your teachers/counselors write that Letter of Rec, be sure to go into Naviance –> About Me –> Surveys from your school –>  “Personal Data Form” and complete the form.  Talk with your teachers/counselors to see if they need any additional information to help with your letter.

Starting in 2019-20, our counselors would like students to submit additional information via an online form. We have gotten feedback that this additional information can make a big difference in our letters.
Mrs. Owen- Please click here to access the form
Mrs. Bligh- Please click here to access the form
Mr. Stallworth- Please click here to access the form

Great job!  Now that the logistics are set-up, concentrate on the Application Systems to get in your information and work on any essays/portfolios that are needed!  Stop by the College & Career Center or your Academic Counselor for help at any point.