High School » College Application Steps

College Application Steps

  1. Research colleges and make list (review with Ms. Levy). 2-3 “Likely schools”; 2-3 “target” schools; 2-3 “reach” schools.
  2. Make spreadsheet:  Name of College, Deadline, Supplement essays, Date Submitted, Transcript Requested, Test scores sent; Honors College/ Scholarships.
  3. Request transcripts and teacher letters of recc (Ms. Levy will explain how to do this)
  4. Send test scores through College Board or ACT (if needed). This should be done at least 3 weeks before you apply—some colleges such as Michigan will not consider your application complete by the Nov. 1 EA deadline if all materials, including test scores, are not received.
  5. Make Common Application/Coalition Application/School Specific Application account. Both the Common Application (commonapp.org) and Coalition Application. (coalitionforcollegeaccess.org) allow students to use their application form to apply to multiple schools.
  6. Begin filling out applications. Take time to find the most honest, yet impressive, way of listing your extracurricular activities, work, volunteer and travel experiences.
  7. Work on essays and resume.
  8. If you are asked to list your Senior courses, remember to list all of them, including Judaic and General Studies. Grades for senior year classes are usually IP (in progress) Some colleges require you to self-report your courses and grades from all years of high school—this is usually called an SSAR report that is separate from the rest of the application. Ask Ms. Levy for a transcript to most accurately complete this section.
  9. Check with each school to see if there is an SSAR that you need to complete—for ex, UGA, UF, UCF, FSU.
  10. If you plan to apply ED, see Ms. Levy as there is a multiple step process to this on Common App.
  11. Make sure that you proofread carefully before submitting your application. Review all applications with Ms. Levy before submitting!
  12. College Visits and Interviews: Attend college visits at AJA and virtual information sessions especially for colleges that count demonstrated interest in their review process (ex: Tulane, Brandeis) and sign up for interviews if they are available. Practice your interviewing skills with Ms. Levy and remember to send a thank you after! Attending these sessions can be helpful (even if the colleges don’t track interest) as you write your supplement essays.
  13. Gap years/deferring—You do not need to tell the college that you plan to defer before you receive an admission decision. However, it is very important to check with each college about Gap year policies—is approval needed? What forms are needed to complete and when? Are there deadlines to receive approval for a gap year?

After You Apply:
  1. After you apply, check your account to be sure that all documents (test scores, transcripts, letters of recc) have been processed by the school. If anything is missing, such as a transcript, please let Ms. Levy know!
  2. Senior Grades count!! Many colleges ask to see first quarter and first semester grades so keep up your studying!!
  3. Enrollment Deposits: Unless you apply Early Decision, you do not have to submit an enrollment deposit until May 1, the Universal Reply Date. You may only submit one enrollment deposit. Even if you plan to take a gap year, if you submit an enrollment deposit at a college you are expected to attend that college the following fall.
  4. Housing Deposits: You may submit multiple housing deposits but these may not be refundable. This may be advisable at big state schools where housing fills up fast—after you receive your offer of admission be sure to check on housing policies.


Financial Aid, Scholarships, Honors Programs:
  • Financial Aid: If you are seeking financial aid, fill out FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and CSS Profile (college board website) after Oct. 1 (check financial aid page of each college to see whether these forms are needed). Apply early—more funds will be available! Even if you plan to take a gap year, if you need financial aid you should fill this out so that you know realistically what your total cost will be.
  • HOPE/Zell Miller: If you plan to stay in-state, fill out FAFSA or Ga Futures financial application in Ga Futures and send scores to the Georgia Student Finance Commission (details found here: https://www.gafutures.org/hope-state-aid-programs/hope-zell-miller-scholarships/zell-miller-scholarship/eligibility/eligibility-based-on-national-test-scores/
  • Honors Programs and school specific scholarships—check with each school to see if you need to complete a separate application.