• The College Application Process

     Completing applications can be stressful, but it does not have to be. Start early. Try to complete the list of schools you intend to apply to by October 1 (but don’t rule out schools that come to your attention later). You should have a good mix of reach, target and safety schools on your list. For more college admissions lingo, download our glossary.

    Your application will include the following:

    The application itself. This is usually submitted digitally, for example through the Common App.

    High School transcript. Request a transcript through Parchment, and it will be sent directly to the college you’re applying to, along with Midtown High School's Profile. Your transcript is probably the most important part of your application. Many schools want to know not only what your grades and class rank are, but also whether you’re taking challenging courses.

    SAT or ACT scores. Many schools are now test-optional, meaning you do not have to submit and SAT or ACT score. But if you are submitting a test score, you must request that the testing agency send these to the schools you’re applying to. If you know what schools you’re applying to before you take the test, you can request scores be sent to those schools when you register for the test. If you decide to apply to a school after you take the test, you must go back and request that scores be sent to that school.

    College application essay, as well as any required supplemental essays. Carefully check each school’s requirements.

    Letters of recommendation, usually from a counselor and one or two teachers of a junior year core class. Plan ahead and ask them several weeks in advance. You will need to provide them with a resume to help guide the content of the recommendation. Once your recommenders have uploaded their letters to your Common App account, you can easily attach them when you submit your application.

    An interview is usually optional, but if you have the opportunity for an interview, take it. These are often with local alumni and so don’t necessarily require a trip to the college.