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Application Procedures &

Common App
Application procedures
Von’s Application Procedures

1. Students are responsible for understanding each college’s

● Look for Priority or Early Action deadlines to increase scholarship
● Early Decision deadlines are different -- binding commitment
Von’s Application Procedures

2. Students are responsible for understanding each college’s

requirements. These may include:
● Essays
● Teacher and/or counselor recommendations
● Official or unofficial SAT scores
● Admissions interview
● CSS Profile
Von’s Application Procedures

3. If letters of recommendation are required, students should

request letters from teachers approximately 1 month before the
application deadline.
● Teacher and Counselor Recommendation Surveys in Naviance
(About Me 🡪 Surveys to Take)
● Make requests in person, then follow up with request in Naviance
● Separate letters for each school are not needed
Von’s Application Procedures

4. Students must request transcripts from counselors 15 schools

days before the application deadline.
● Requests are made via Naviance AND with a paper form (or the
Google request form during remote learning)
● Student must complete application first

5. Application procedures reviewed with seniors at the beginning

of the year. Seniors will receive a folder and handouts outlining
Senior Requirements

➢ Apply to at least 3 colleges, including at least 1 match and 1 Illinois

public institution
➢ Report admissions results to counseling staff
➢ Complete the FAFSA, if eligible
➢ Review financial aid award letters with counseling staff
➢ Complete the Senior Exit Questionnaire
➢ Upload evidence of a post-secondary plan in Naviance (Learn Plan
Supports at Von

In September:
➢ Group meetings by division with counselor
➢ Individual meeting with counselor
➢ Financial aid presentations with seniors by division and in evening with parents
Throughout the year:
➢ Counseling department and the College & Career Center (room 116)
➢ After school workshops
➢ Additional financial aid lessons & events in 2nd semester
Common App
Applying to Colleges

➢ Colleges have different application methods

➢ Most use online applications and require students to make an
○ Make sure to write down account information for each college
(email address you used, username, and password)
➢ Many colleges use the Common App, but not all
Common App Intro

➢ A single application used by 800+ colleges across the country and the world.
1. Connect to More – This online system gives students access to a diverse array
of colleges and universities, both public and private.
2. Work Smarter – Using the Common App saves time in the admission process.
Enter your information once and it will be shared across all of your schools.

3. Stay on Track – You will be able to manage your deadlines and view your
application progress in one convenient dashboard.
Getting Started -
Create an Account

➢ Register as a First Year Student

➢ Use a professional, personal email address.
○ Consider creating an entirely new one so that your
inbox is free of spam, retail offers, etc.
○ Examples:,
➢ Write down your Common App password.
College Search

➢ Search for colleges by

name or location.
➢ Add them to your Common
Common App

➢ The Common App tab is

where you will complete the
main application. Sections
○ Personal information
○ Family information
○ Education
○ Testing
○ Activities
○ Writing (personal essay)
My Colleges

➢ The My Colleges tab

lists detailed
information and
requirements for all of
your colleges.
➢ Questions – Colleges
have their own
questions and
requirements for
students, in addition to
the main application.

➢ The Dashboard
provides a
snapshot of your
including writing
requirements and
the deadline you
chose (i.e. priority
or regular)
Information You Will Need

➢ Class rank, class size, and cumulative GPA (from transcript or Naviance)
➢ Senior year courses
➢ School counselor name and contact information
➢ List of your honors, activities, leadership positions, work, and family
➢ Standardized test scores and dates
➢ Parent/guardian educational history and occupation information
➢ Sibling grade level and educational information
Account Rollover

➢ The Common Application for the upcoming school year on August 1st

➢ You can create an account prior to August 1st to start filling out basic info

➢ Upon that first sign in after August 1st, Common App will ask if you want to roll
over your account from the previous school year. If you answer yes, you’ll have to
confirm the following:
○ Your role (i.e. current applicant)
○ Your current high school
○ Your acceptance of the Privacy Policy
○ Your previous My Colleges list
College Search Resources &
Key considerations
for your family
Where to Start

Important Considerations for Your College Search:

• What is your academic MATCH level?
• What colleges are a good FIT based on personal preferences?
• What schools offer the best financial aid awards?
• Where do students graduate successfully?
College Match

➢ Match or selectivity
level is determined
by your GPA and
➢ Grid is a guideline,
not a guarantee
➢ College list should
include mostly
match schools, as
well as safety and
College Fit

➢ Location
➢ Size
➢ Academic programs and majors
➢ Campus life & atmosphere
➢ Student demographics
➢ Athletics
➢ Out-of-Pocket cost (after financial aid)
o Keep an eye out for information on bus trips and prospective student weekends.
o Virtual tours are a great idea during remote learning.
o Counseling department will email students and parents via Naviance.
Financial Considerations

➢ Don’t get scared off by a college’s “sticker price”

➢ Expand your search beyond Chicago and Illinois.
o Limiting yourself to Chicago usually means limiting your financial aid
➢ Smaller, private liberal arts schools may have more scholarship
money to offer AND want to attract CPS students
o Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) -- usually selective to very
selective liberal arts colleges that may offer generous financial aid
o Colleges that “meet 100% of need” -- usually very selective schools that
cover a family’s full financial need, sometimes without loans
Financial Aid Example #1: Actual Von Steuben Student 2018
Financial Aid Example #2: Actual Von Steuben Student 2019
Success Indicators

➢ Graduation Rates and Student Retention Rates

o -- breaks down these rates by ethnicity/gender
o Aim for schools with a 50% graduation rate or above
➢ Living on Campus vs. Commuting from Home
o Studies show that college students are more successful living on
o We recommend aiming for living on campus if financially possible
o College is more than the classes you take; much of your education and
growth happens outside the classroom
Tools for your family
College Search Resources

➢ Naviance ➢
o SuperMatch College Search o Retention rates after 1st year
o Scattergrams o Graduation rates
➢ US Dept. of Education’s College ➢
o Graduation rates
➢ College Board’s Big Future
o Average salaries of graduates
College Search
➢ College Greenlight
Scholarship Search Resources

➢ CPS Academic Works

○ CPS Strategic Scholarships and external opportunities
➢ College Greenlight
○ Summer Challenge: add 10 colleges and 5 scholarships to your account
before September, then register to win the Summer Challenge scholarship
➢ Cappex
➢ College Board
➢ Peterson’s
➢ Additional resources for undocumented students:
○ Illinois Association of College Admissions Counseling (IACAC)
○ Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Things you can do
End of Junior Year Action Plan

1. Start researching colleges

2. Work on your Common App essay
3. Create a Common App account
4. Use Khan Academy for SAT preparation
5. Finish the year strong
Summer Checklist

❏ Remember: Create a professional, personal email address to use for college

applications & scholarships
❏ If your current email is filled with spam, create an entirely new account
❏ Check your email regularly - please!
❏ Continue working on the Common Application
❏ Write and revise personal statements/essays
❏ Work on your list of approximately 10 schools -- DIVERSIFY your college list
❏ Mix of public and private schools; mix of in-state and out-of-state schools
❏ Mix of match, safety and reach schools (mostly match)
Summer Checklist, continued…

❑ Research requirements and deadlines for each college; create a system to organize
the information
❑ Letters of recommendation? Essays? CSS Profile?
❑ Target the Priority/Early Action deadlines to qualify for the most scholarships
❑ Create accounts with various scholarship websites
❑ Start with CPS Academic Works -- use your CPS login
❑ Research opportunities to visit colleges on your list
❑ Look for free bus trips from Chicago
❑ Look for prospective student weekends
❑ Gather information for FAFSA; mark your calendar for October 1st