Applying to College

Planning, Research & To Do List


Get a plan


Finding colleges that are a fit for you


Brainstorming and Writing Personal Statement & Essays


Items to Complete for Tracking and supplemental documents

  • Make a list of colleges in Naviance
  • Complete the Brag Sheet Survey

Do you need a Letter of Recommendation?


Links to Actual Applications where you will apply

  • Common Application used for private and some out of CA schools.  (most require Essays)
  • Naviance and Common App matching.pdf
  • (You must match your accounts so your counselor can send your transcripts and letters of recommendation)
  • University of California Schools (require 4 short essays, must have 3.0 GPA and no D,F grades)
  • California State Universities (No essays, must have 2.5 GPA, no D,F grades)
  • Some colleges use an application called Coalition. This is similar to the Common Application in that you can apply to several schools with one application. 

Paying for College

First step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CACAA for Undocumented students)  All of these applications require parents financial/tax information. This will determine if you qualify for Need Based Aid and compute your Families Expected Contribution (FEC)


Merit Based / Need Based Scholarships Through Colleges

Some colleges offer this type of money automatically through the application, while others require an additional application.  Some schools offer money through foundations which require the submission of the CSS Profile application.  ONLY COMPLETE CSS Profile if REQUIRED by college
THE COMMON APPLICATION: for private and out-of-state universities.


Western Undergraduate Exchange
  • Students who are residents of WICHE states are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state.
  • Students who want to transfer after 2 years at Community College can sign a TAG agreement to be guaranteed a spot at some of the UC campuses