Applying for College

Introduction

Everything you need to know about finding a college, submitting your application and applying for financial aid.

Websites
ACTStudent.org
Register for the ACT, prep for the test, find out your scores and more.
 
College Boards/SAT Preparation
Prepare for the SAT here. Do practice tests online, find out SAT test dates, register for the SAT, get and send scores. Also includes a College Search that lets you explore and compare over 3,500 schools, and apply to your choice!
 
CUNY City University of New York
This easy to use site offers general information about CUNY schools admission procedures and offers on-line applications.
 
FAFSA Free Application for Student Financial Aid Online
The quick and easy to use site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education which allows you to use apply for Financial aid on-line and link to many other financial aid sites.
 
FinAid
Everything from loans to scholarships, to military aid to grants for grad school! Includes forms and instructions, an online calculator and personalized help. It also includes information on testing, college admissions and jobs.
 
IPEDS College Opportunities Online
You can search for a college based on its location, size, programs, or degree offerings, among other things.
 
Mapping Your Future
Guides middle and high school students, year by year, through the steps necessary for college application success.
 
National Association for College Admission Counseling
http://www.nacacnet.org/about/Pages/default.aspx
Helpful tools on how to transition from high school to college.
 
Naviance
If your school has a partnership with Naviance, you can see how on track with your grades/test scores to the college you want to attend.
 
New York’s Private Colleges and Universities
This site is a guide to NY’s private colleges and universities and includes information on admissions and financial aid.
 
Princeton Review
Find the best school for you - search colleges by location, ranking and major. Learn how to narrow your options and get admitted. Access information to over 950 schools and apply online. Also includes tools, scholarship search, and expert advice on the financial aid process.

 
Student Gateway to the U.S. Government
This award-winning site is a comprehensive portal to online information on college and careers. Answers your questions on planning and paying for your education and includes everything from choosing a school to finding a loan - and more!
 
SUNY State University of New York
Everything you want and need to know about the State University of New York, including a complete list of the 64 SUNY campuses.
 
Teen Ink: College Essays Written by Teens
Get inspiration to write those all-important college essays by looking at any of over 300 actual essays written by teens.
 
Books
101 Ways to Become the Perfect College Applicant
Jeanine Le Ny
Find out what you need to be the best college applicant you can be.
 
Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America's Top Schools
Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).
Descriptions of top colleges and universities, focusing on their academic, political, and social climates in order to help prospective students find the school that is best suited for them. Includes information on outstanding faculty, curriculum, student organizations and school policies regarding various social and political issues.
 
Debt-Free College
Robert A. Sparks
How to get a college degree without going broke - the secrets for successful college financing.
 
Peterson's Guide to Four-Year Colleges
Annual guide to four-year undergraduate colleges across the U.S.
 
Peterson's Guide to Two-Year Colleges
Directory of junior colleges and community colleges across the U.S.
 
Presenting Yourself Successfully to Colleges: How to Market Your Strengths and Make Your Application Stand Out
Howard R. Greene and Matthew W. Greene.
Written by a former college admissions officer, this book will give you tips on writing your personal essay, composing letters to admissions officers and submitting supplementary material.
 
Real U Guide to Planning for College
Max Overly
Get the straight facts on interviewing, essay writing, SATs, picking the right school, and financial aid.
 
The Truth About Getting IN
Katherine Cohen
A top college advisor tells you everything you need to know about getting into the college of your choice. Find out the secrets of what college admissions are really looking for. Complete with timelines, worksheets and checklists to make the process easier.
FAQ's
Q: What courses should I take in high school to prepare for college?

A: Most colleges require that applicants have taken four years of English, three years of history/social science, three years of math, three years of science, two years of a foreign language, and one year of fine arts. The difficulty of courses that you take is also important. Admissions offices are looking for students who have taken challenging courses, not those who have skated by on the easiest courses available to them.

Q: Do colleges really care about your senior year grades?

A: Absolutely! Many colleges will not make a decision until they receive first semester senior grades. They expect to see a performance that indicates you are ready for college-level work. It is not at all rare for a college to withdraw an offer of admission when grades drop significantly over the course of the senior year.

Q: How much time should I give my teachers to write letters of recommendation for me?

A: Teachers should always receive a minimum of two weeks notice, prior to the postmark date. Be sure to ask in a way that allows a teacher to decline comfortably if he/she does not have time to do an adequate job. Give the teacher a stamped envelope addressed to the college, along with any recommendation form provided by the college.

Q: How many times should I take the SAT® tests?

A: Some students are satisfied with their SAT scores the first time they take it. Many students take it twice - in the spring of the junior year and the fall of the senior year.

More Information
Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) Hotline
For information about Federal student financial aid, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1-800-730-8913 (if hearing impaired) and ask for a free copy of The Student Guide: Financial Aid from the US Department of Education. This toll free hotline is run by the US Department of Education and can answer questions about federal and state student aid programs and applications. You can also write to: Federal Student Aid Information Center, PO Box 84, Washington, DC 20044
 
The Higher Education Services Corporation assists New York State students with financial aid.