Tips and Tricks for College Apps

Are college applications hard? Do seniors dread them? How do you even apply to colleges? These are all questions that seniors and even lowerclassmen have, and they are scary thoughts! Here are some tips and tricks you should be considering when applying for colleges you are interested in. 

What should you start with in your college application process? It’s important to know what websites you should use when applying. Three websites come to mind during this process: Common App, Naviance, and College Board.  



Common App is most useful when applying to colleges as it is an undergraduate program that applicants can use to apply to over 1,000 colleges and universities in 50 US states, Canada, China, and Japan, as well as many European countries. Once you’ve set up Common App, you qualify for college application fee waivers. Common App should be considered as your foundation for applying to colleges. 



Naviance is not a widely known website for college applications but here’s why it’s important. Naviance can be used to easily sort colleges you’re interested in as well as gathering information on college events for incoming students. You can then connect Common App and Naviance. When you submit an application on Naviance, the next step is to request a transcript. Once you request the transcript, that will alert the counselors and they will send your transcripts electronically to the colleges. 



College Board is where you can find your SAT scores and send them to colleges. It is also useful if you have taken any AP classes within your high school life. College Board can also send your AP scores to schools that accept your score. 

How do you make these accounts? When making any college-focused account, make sure to NEVER use your school email. A lot of people end up losing access to their account if they use their school email due to the school email accounts being deleted after graduation. Start by using an email you are comfortable with using. Remember to be careful with which email you use as colleges will be able to see every account your email is associated with, such as social media.  

Start by visiting the websites and signing up. As soon as you sign up for the three websites, feel free to link them. 



An overlooked step in the college application process is collecting your transcript from your counselor. Here at Proviso East, for this year’s seniors we have two counselors who can help you in your college application process: George Pappas and Julie Kopf. Pappas covers students with last names A – Ma in the alphabet, while Kopf covers Mc-Z. If you have not set up Common App and Naviance, send your counselor a message through Teams or email asking for your transcript when applying to colleges. 



Now that you’ve made these accounts, filled out the prerequisites, and collected your transcript, it’s time for the actual application process. How exactly do you start to apply to colleges? The best way to do so is through Common App. All colleges require a high school transcript and now that you’ve successfully uploaded the transcript, fill out the required questions. Do not let the college essays scare you; try to answer as concisely as possible. 



Pappas, the Proviso East counselor, said, “The best way to apply to these colleges is through Common App and the easiest way to receive teacher recommendations is by doing so through Naviance.”  

“Common App and Naviance,” said Pappas, “is a one-stop shop that provides our students with access to thousands of dollars in scholarships and save money on college application fees.”