College App. Process

Attention Seniors, if you are planning on submitting college applications prior to the holiday break, you must submit your College Application Processing forms to the Counseling Office no later than December 1st.

General Information

The Counseling Office processes, on average, approximately 600 applications per year. Therefore, it is essential that each student understands and follows the procedures listed below. It is our experience that the students who are most prepared and organized are able to move through this process smoothly.

Senior Interview: All Seniors will meet with their Counselor in the fall to review a variety of items. The college application process is reviewed with each student to ensure that they understand the process and their responsibilities. At this interview, the student should come prepared with the items listed below. If they are prepared with these items, they will be off to a great start.

  • List of Colleges/Universities that they are interested in applying to;
  • Updated Resume;
  • Completed GPA Calculation Chart;
  • List of the Teacher/Non Teacher Recommendations they have distributed.

How many schools should I apply to? It is our philosophy that students apply to 6-8 colleges/universities if they are not committed to making application Early Decision or they plan to apply to only one school to which they are positive they will be admitted (ex. Onondaga Community College – as this example is an open campus, which means it serves all of Onondaga/Madison County Residents).

2-3 Reach Schools: These schools’ academic requirements may be above your academic credentials and profile, however, we encourage each student to challenge themselves and “reach for the stars.”

2-3 Probable Schools: These schools’ academic requirements match your academic credentials and profile. Most likely, you will be admitted.

1-2 Safety Schools: Your academic credentials and profile exceed the minimum requirements.

* Please note that for each student, a “Reach,” “Probable,” and “Safety” school is different, as all students have unique qualities and characteristics that colleges/universities are looking for.

Student Responsibilities

The following list will serve as a checklist for student responsibilities for submitting college applications:

  • Meet with Counselor prior to submitting applications.
  • Secure Teacher/Non Teacher Recommendations.
  • Prepare a finalized copy of your Resume.
  • Make a list of the colleges/universities you will be applying to with any and all deadlines.
  • Determine and obtain which applications you will need (SUNY, Private, Common).
  • Complete applications in their entirety – make sure they are neat and legible with no mistakes!
  • Provide your Counselor, well in advance, with the Secondary School Report Form, or Counselor Page, if required by the college/university.
  • Attach the Request for Application Processing Form with EACH application.
  • Have your essay proof read multiple times by different sources.
  • Provide postage of $1.00 for each application that must be submitted by mail.
  • Most importantly, meet ALL deadlines!

Counseling Office Responsibilities

  • Counselors will be available to discuss the application process with students. These are the responsibilities that the Counseling Office will undertake with each submitted application:
  • The Counselor will scan each application for student omissions and errors. (Please note: Counselors do not have time to scrutinize every detail of every application-this is the responsibility of the student).
  • The Counselor will attach all Teacher and Non Teacher Recommendations that the student has listed to be included with their application. (It is the student’s responsibility to list the order in which the recommendations will be compiled.)
  • The Counselor will attach the Official Transcript.
  • The Counselor will attach the 1st Quarter Report Card upon student request. (A strong 1st Quarter may increase the likelihood of acceptance for those students who might be on the bubble.)
  • The Counselor will attach Mid-Year Grades upon student request. (If an individual college requests this information, the Counselor is obligated to attach it.)
  • The Counselor will attach the School Profile.
  • The Counselor will complete the Secondary School Report Form, or Counselor Page, if required by the college/university. (Please be sure to give this to your Counselor well in advance of your application submission.)
  • The Counselor will write a Letter of Recommendation if it is requested by the individual college/university, or student. Please note that Counselors do not write a Letter of Recommendation for everyone-some schools might only require 1-2 Recommendations, not specific to the Counselor.
  • The Counselor will package all of the above mentioned materials in a neat and organized way.
  • The Counselor will log all materials that accompany each application (ex. check number, whether a Resume was sent, etc.).
  • The Counselor will complete the “Request for Application Processing Form” and will return it to the student through their homeroom.

How to Submit an Application(s)

Once a student has consulted with their Counselor and completed the application, they need to follow the following process:

1. Make an appointment to see your Counselor – please do not just drop off an application.

2. Paperclip your materials in the following order:

  • Request for Application Processing Form (on top)
  • Attach $1.00 for postage under the clip for applications that must be mailed
  • Application or Signature Page
  • Resume
  • Essays (if required)
  • Supplemental Applications (if required)
  • Any other special attachments (ex. Portfolio for Art or Music, CD’s, Certificates, etc.)

3. Look for the “Request for Application Processing Form” completed with the date it was sent out in your homeroom.

4. Good luck!

Applying SUNY

There are over 70 different SUNY (State University of New York) schools in which students may apply either online or utilizing paper. SUNY prefers online applications due to the volume of applications they receive. A benefit of using this application is that students can apply to multiple SUNY schools using one application.

Paper Version: Student must complete the application in its entirety. Parents are required to sign the application if the student is under 18 years of age. If this version of the application is used it will be sent to the Application Processing Center which is located in Albany. The Processing Center inputs the data into their system and distributes to appropriate colleges via the Internet. Supplemental materials will be forwarded directly to each individual college the student applies to. Hence, why applying online is faster and more efficient.

Electronic Version: Students can apply directly to SUNY using the following link: Students must attach the signed Transmittal Form to their Counselor. Please note: the only way the Counselors know that a student has applied online is by filling out a Request for Application Processing Form.

Supplements: In addition to the General SUNY Application, many schools also require a Supplemental Application. This serves as a way of communicating further details about the student. Please check the SUNY View Book, or the website ( to determine which schools require a supplement.

Applying to Private Institutions

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any paper versions of Private Applications. Students are encouraged to utilize the electronic format if it is offered. Many schools may waive their application fee if the application is completed online. Please note: the only way the Counselors know that a student has applied online is by filling out a Request for Application Processing Form. In addition, if there are specific forms that the Counselor must fill out, School Report Forms, or Counselor Pages, please be sure to give them to your Counselor in advance to your submission of applications.

Using the Common Application

The Common Application is becoming more and more popular throughout the college/university community. Currently there are over 300 colleges and universities that accept this format. Students create an account and can access it throughout their entire application process for valuable admission information. Please visit to create an account and begin your application. This application is “common” therefore many colleges and universities require additional supplemental information. Therefore, you may be filling out multiple supplemental applications in addition to the one “common application.” Please visit the website to determine if your college/university requires a supplemental application.

Paper Version: Students who choose to complete the application online and print it to send to each individual school must provide the Counseling Office with a copy for each college you apply to. The supplement for these colleges/universities must also be attached.

Electronic Version: Students who apply online may be required to print a signature page that will accompany the information that is sent by the Counseling Office. Please note: the only way the Counselors know that a student has applied online is by filling out a Request for Application Processing Form.


____Request for Application Processing Form


____Fee- Check, Money Order or Fee Waiver

____$1.00 postage fee (for applications that must be mailed)



____Supplemental Applications (if required)

____Transmittal or Signature Page (if required)

____Special Attachments

Request for Application Processing Form

This form will be in duplicate format and can be obtained in the Counseling Office. Once the Counseling Office has processed the application, we will return one copy of each form to the student through their homeroom.

Teacher/Non Teacher Recommendations

All students who will be completing college applications are encouraged to have a minimum of 2 teacher recommendations. However, the Counseling Office recommends that you obtain at least 3. Please be sure to give those who will be writing your recommendation ample time to complete it so that you are meeting all of your deadlines. We recommend that you give the individual a copy of your Resume along with the appropriate form completed. Please be sure to legibly complete the student portion of the forms.

Based on feedback from non-teacher contacts, we have created a separate form for these individuals to complete. Be sure to include a stamped envelope with your counselor’s address so that the individual writing the recommendation can drop it in the mail.

Dates for Submitting Applications

The turn-around time for the Counseling Office to process an application is approximately two weeks. During peak times (November and December), we require applications to be submitted well in advance to ensure that deadlines are met.  Please note the following important dates:

  • Early Decision Applications:  Must be submitted to the Counseling Office by October 17th.
  • Regular Applications Due On/Before Thanksgiving:  Must be submitted to the Counseling Office by November 10th.
  • Regular Applications Due On/Before Christmas Recess:  Must be submitted to the Counseling Office by December 1st.  (Please note, this includes January 1st deadlines!)
  • Anytime Thereafter:  Must be submitted to the Counseling Office at least two weeks prior to the school’s deadline.

If students follow the above dates, we can ensure that their deadlines can be met.

* Please do not bring us an application the day it is due!

* If school is closed, please remember that the Counselors are not working.

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