Post-Secondary Application Process
Application Process for Colleges, Universities, and Technical Schools
Students are to complete their application either online or as a paper copy. Most schools have moved to an online application but some schools will still accept a paper application.
Transcripts should be submitted to the school of your choice once the application is complete. To send transcripts, students need to have a signed transcript card on file. Student and parent signature are required if the student is under the age of 18. The student will need to provide and envelope correctly addressed to the school of choice with sufficient postage attached. One stamp will be sufficient if only the transcript is being sent. If you are sending letters of recommendation or other materials, please provide additional postage.
Please allow the counselors five (5) working days to process a transcript - pay attention to the deadlines for your post-secondary choices so the transcript request is processed in time to meet your deadlines.
Common Application Procedures
This website provides students with access to an application that is accepted by a large number of schools. To view a list of schools that accept the Common Application, please click here.
With the Common Application, guidance counselors and teachers will complete their recommendations online via an email link. Transcripts are submitted electronically so there is no need to provide an envelope and stamp.
To get started on the Common Application, please visit the Common Application Website.
*Penn State University is now using the Common Application for their application process. This is new starting during the 2018-2019 application year.
Addressing an Envelope
When submitting a transcript for processing, it is important that your envelope is addressed correctly. If you are unsure how to address an envelope, please view this sample envelope as a guide.
Letters of Recommendation
When requesting letters of recommendation from teachers and staff, please give adequate time for the letter to be completed. It is also a good idea to provide a resume from your time in high school. If you do not have a resume, the guidance office has a form students may provide to the teacher or staff member. Click here to make a copy of an electronic version of the Letter of Recommendation Information Sheet.
Interview Questions - Be Prepared to Ask Questions
You should also be prepared to ask questions. Your research in the school will help you develop ideas of questions to ask. You do not want to go into an interview without questions prepared. If don't ask, the interviewer might think that you are not interested. However, don't ask obvious things that you should already know such as, do you have engineering as a major? Instead, here are some suggestions:
- How are majors handled within the curriculum?
- How is are faculty advisors chosen?
- What internship opportunities are available for students?
- Does the college offer a career planning and placement program? If so, how does the program work?
- Do I have to be involved in the Greek system to have a social life?
- What percentage of student live on campus?
- What percentages of the students interested in my major are placed in full-time jobs? In what graduate schools?
- What types of study abroad programs does the college offer?
- What factors do you consider in the admission process? Which do you consider most strongly?
When you no longer have questions, don't feel you have to delve to ask more. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and assistance.
Interview Questions - Be Prepared to Answer Questions
An interview is not a time for modesty - nor is it a time to brag. Schools are trying to determine what makes you stand out from others students who have applied and whether you are a good fit for that college or university. If you are asked a question that you need to think about, say so. If you do not say anything and just sit there in silence, the interviewer does not know if you heard the question or are not paying attention. You may be asked questions such as:
- Why do you want to go to college?
- Why have you selected our college?
- What are your career plans? If you are uncertain about your plans, don't be afraid to say so. If you are, what is it about this college that you like (variety of majors, job placement, etc)?
- What was the latest book that you read?
- Do you have any special hobbies or talents?
- What do you like most about this college? This is where your research will come in handy.
- Tell me a little about yourself.
- What do you have to offer our college? Really think about this question. If you merely respond with great grades, lots of activities, chances are that most of the students who are applying to this college have the same general answer as well. Be prepared to tell them what sets you apart.
- Dress appropriately. This does not necessarily mean that you have to wear a suit. Business casual would be appropriate.
- Arrive early to campus. You do not want to be running into the admission office seconds before the interview is to start. Take the time to absorb some of the atmosphere around campus first. This will also help to settle your nerve and give you a sense of what it is like to be a student at that college.
- Remember to SMILE! Smiling is a way of showing that you are interested and excited about the school. If you do not smile, the interviewer might think that you do not want to be there.
- Speak clearly. This is not the time to mumble.
- You should write a thank you note upon returning home to the person who interviewed you. Thus, make sure to get their name, correct spelling, and appropriate title. Social etiquette goes a long way.
Preparing for the Interview
Research the college by visiting the college's web site and/or reading the college catalog. Make sure to review sections dealing with your intended major and/or programs in which you hope to become involved. Your expression of interest in the college will not come from merely stating those words, but in actuality, your knowledge of the school and its programs that you have researched.
College Campus Visits
Campus visits are critical to decision making. Now that classes are back in session at colleges and universities across the nation, this would be an excellent time to visit campuses. Campus visits provide you with the opportunity to see the dorms, classrooms , and general campus life. While you are on the campus, you may also have the opportunity to schedule a college interview.
- Tour the Facilities - On a campus tour, ask to see the department of your primary interest (sit in on a class, if possible), the library, dormitories, the athletic facilities, the dining halls, and the campus student centers.
- Speak to Current Students - It is a good idea to speak to current students for the their impressions of the college or university. Ask them the pros and cons of attending and why they chose to attend. Weigh their responses with your own.
- Visit College Websites - In addition, students should visit and explore the web sites of the colleges they are considering. Many colleges have excellent web sites, offering virtual tours, question and answer sessions, and information concerning what's new on campus. Students can view course offerings and overall requirements for majors or undecided options. Students can also gain a lot of information concerning what type of student the college is looking for and whether they are a good fit. This is a great way to research schools for you college interview.