How to Apply to College
So, you have decided on one or more colleges to which you want to apply?
Working with Your High School Counselor for College Success
Complete the Application
Most colleges, schools and universities have an online application. In many cases, there is no fee if the application is completed online instead of on paper and mailed.
Most colleges do have an application fee. If you are eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch, your fee could be waived. Visit with Mrs. Barlow to get that waiver.
Be sure to enter information correctly and completely. Write legibly. Do not leave any blank boxes or lines. Ask someone else to double check your completion and spelling.
Watch a video on how to create your account and order your transcript through Parchment
Get Letters of Recommendation
Many colleges require letters of recommendation from teachers or other adults who know you well. Ask your references well in advance of the deadlines to write you a recommendation. You may want to give them a short written summary of your achievements to help them write about you.
For more on getting good recommendations, click here.
- Taylor H., college senior - Find out why Taylor H. thinks the financial aid application process is "pretty simple."
Applying early can be a good idea if you’re sure which college you want to attend. For more on Early Decision and Early Action, click here.
Send Your Transcript
An official transcript is the high school's certified statement of your academic record. All colleges/universities/trade schools will need a copy of your official transcript. BHS uses Parchment to send those transcripts electronically. You will need to create an account at Parchment.com DO NOT use your school email when creating your account. After you have created an account, you will tell Parchment you have attended Buchanan High School. From there, you can order your official transcript to be sent to the college(s) to which you apply free of charge.
To learn more about Parchment and how to use it, click here.
Your teachers will do a better job on your letter if they don’t have to rush.
File Your FAFSA
Writing a College Essay
When you apply to college, you may need to complete an essay as part of your application. This is your opportunity to show admission officers who you are and to provide information about yourself that didn’t fit in other areas of your application. The essay also reveals what you can do when you have time to think and work on a writing project.
The number one piece of advice from admission officers about your essay is “Be yourself.” The number two suggestion is “Start early.” Check out these other tips before you begin.
Top two tips: Be yourself and start early
How should you present yourself in an essay?
Jeff Brenzel, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Yale University. An admission officer shares tips on writing an essay that reflects who you really are.