Call Endeavor today at:


The Application

While much of the college application process is neither intellectually nor mentally challenging, it does demand both organization and perseverance, and it is essential that you know which components to focus on and how much time to allow to complete each section.  Because there are so many parts, only a methodical approach will prevent you from missing something that could jeopardize your candidacy. 

The components of the college application:

    1. Application forms
    2. Transcripts
    3. Essays
    4. Resume
    5. SATs
    6. Recommendations
    7. Supplemental Materials
Read more ▸

1.     Application Forms  

The most obvious component of college applications, the application forms themselves, are not difficult, although they can be tedious.

Fortunately, many, if not most, of the colleges you will apply to now accept the common application.  With the common application, you only have to fill out your information and required forms once, and you can do it all online. Simply go to the common application website to find out if your target schools accept it, and register an account to begin your application.

Many schools have supplemental forms and requirements, some of which are more complicated and extensive than others, but if you follow the directions carefully and proceed systematically, you should have no problem.  Here the key is staying organized, so that you can be sure to fill out your applications correctly and in their entirety.  And don’t forget to save frequently, so that you don’t lose and have to re-enter any large chunks of information.
2.    Transcripts

Schools require you to send an official transcript from the high school or high schools that you have attended. Your guidance counselor will be able to help you with that. An official transcript is one that bears the institution’s seal and the appropriate signature across the flap, and is usually sent directly from the high school administration.

3.    Essays

The College Essays are the most time-consuming and important work you will have to do for the application.

4.    Resume

Your résumé, also known as the extracurricular activities sheet, is a key component of your college application. It gives you an opportunity to indicate the activities, accomplishments, prizes and honors that make your after-school and summer-time commitments stand out.

5.    SATs

The SAT Reasoning Test is required at many schools, although schools will often accept the ACT in its stead. Many schools also require several SAT Subject Tests. While the SATs may not land you a place at your school of choice, it can knock you out of the pool of applicants.  Many schools use the SAT and SAT Subject Tests as a standard for cross-comparison, setting a score threshold under which most applicants will be rejected; professors are busy people and this sort of threshold provides them a way to quickly knock down the number of applicants to a manageable size.  See our College Entrance Exams page for more information and to learn about our approach to test preparation and the dramatic results it has produced.

6.    Teacher Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters, also called teacher evaluation forms, are a very important part of any college application, with each school requesting between 2 and 3.  Although you don’t control the content, you do have the critical role of choosing who will write your recommendations.

You should only pick those people best qualified to testify to your past academic prowess and your future promise.  Your best references are likely to come from the teachers who know you the best, and in whose classes you have done exceptionally well.

More than any other application component, the recommendations demand the most organizational attention.  If you are applying to 6 schools, you will need to send 18 recommendation forms to 3 different people; you will then need to make sure both that they know where to send the filled-out forms and deliver the recommendations before the various application deadlines.  While online applications have simplified this, not all schools have it and not all professors will be comfortable using online submission.

For recommendations, then, you either mail professors the recommendation forms with stamped and addressed envelopes, which they in turn send to the schools, or you have them upload their recommendations online. 

Also, you want to get the timing of sending the recommendations such that the schools will not receive them before having received your general application.  The reason for this is, as with the transcript, the writing sample, and the resume, you want the recommendations to be put into your file when they arrive at the school.

Finally, it is always a good idea to give your teachers your college essay when you ask them to fill out a teacher evaluation on your behalf. This way when they write the recommendation, they can speak along with you about your development, your interests, and your capacities.

Endeavor admissions advisors can help you keep organized as well as help you get your recommendations customized.  We have a very effective method of making sure your recommenders know what strengths to emphasize with which schools.  Give us a call, we’re here to help.

7. Supplemental Materials

If you have a special talent and would like it to be considered as part of the admissions process, many colleges give you the opportunity to submit supplemental materials in which you highlight your talent and what it has led you to achieve.

Many schools will also give you the opportunity to write a supplemental essay if you feel that you had to leave important information about yourself or your accomplishments out of the common application. Supplemental materials can be a great way to make an impression on admissions committees. Many colleges are looking for students who have displayed exceptional abilities or undertaken exceptional projects on their own. But it’s important to keep in mind that most candidates accepted to even top colleges do not have an accomplishment that fits into this category, and that rehashing information from your common application can reflect negatively on your candidacy. We can help guide you through the delicate process of selecting and presenting your supplemental materials effectively and persuasively, and ensuring that whatever you add makes you even more appealing as a candidate for admission.

Hide Content