Application 101

  • With so much information about applications and the steps you need to complete them, we decided to break it down into the basics.


    Create a College List in Naviance Under "Colleges I am Applying to" 

    • Choose appropriate application platform: UC Application/ CSU Application/ Direct Application/ Common Application/ Coalition Application/ The Common Black College Application 
    • Check the due dates for each school
    • Decide how and when you will apply? The most common choices are Early Decision/Early Action, typically with a November 1 deadline, or Regular Decision typically with a January deadline
    • Select an option


    If you are ONLY applying to UCs and CSUs, follow these steps:

    • Make sure each UC and CSU you are applying to is listed in Naviance 
    • Create a UC Application and CSU Application account, and write down your passwords
    • Complete the applications. You will need an unofficial copy of your transcript—available in the Aeries portal or your counselor
    • You do not need letters of recommendation for UCs or CSUs
    • You do not send an official transcript 
    • For UCs, you will write 4 short essays (350 words). These are called the Personal Insight Questions (PIQs)
    • For CSUs, there are NO essays
    • UCs and CSUs are test-blind. Please see each system's website for further information
    • CSU application opens October 1 and is due by November 30
    • UC Application opens August 1. Can be submitted between October 1 and November 30


    If you are applying using the Common Application, follow these steps:

    • Create a Common App account
    • Using the college search tab, enter the college. Fill out all the information needed in the Common App
    • Waive your FERPA rights and then match your Common App account under Naviance
    • Write a 650-word personal statement. You may also need to write supplemental essays for individual colleges (check requirements for each Common App school)
    • Make sure you have asked teachers for a LOR, if needed
    • If applicable, order your standardized test scores to be sent to the colleges. You do not need to send AP scores
    • Order transcript/s via Google Doc
    • Send official transcripts from any other schools you have taken coursework


    Check if you need a Letter of Recommendation? Most Common App schools require LOR

    • If a teacher LOR is needed, ask IN PERSON
    • Login to Naviance and navigate to the Letter of Recommendation section under the Colleges tab
    • Using the drop-down menu, select your teacher, then click the schools you would like a LOR sent. Click request
    • Complete a teacher brag sheet, if needed
    • Go to the CIRCLE ICON in the top right corner with your initials on it, then Surveys From Your School, then Counselor Brag Sheet- Student and complete it
    • Submit your Brag Sheet to your counselor through Naviance by September 1
    • Parents must also fill out the brag sheet by September 1 (found in the same location as the student brag sheet when logged in as a parent)


    Fill out the FAFSA, which opens on December 1, 2023