Tips & Tricks For Applying To College!


Andrea Sanchez

It’s easy to get stressed about college admissions. Applying to college takes thought, effort, and organization. You may feel unprepared and completely confused about what to do. Have no worries, here are some things you need to know and some tricks for the tedious process that is applying to college.

The first thing you will need to know is the deadlines. These are the 3 most common applications you may want to do. The first being the UC application, the deadline is November 30th. The second being the CSU application, and the deadline is November 3oth as well. The last being the Common Application, and the deadline is on January 1st, and November 1st for early admission but it varies for every college so you will want to check every college you are applying to just to be sure. You will want to make every deadline and even apply early if it is possible.

Some of the things you need and might want to include in your applications varies. You will, of course, need to enter all the grades you have gotten throughout high school. Do not worry if you are not a straight-A student, that is what your personal essays are for. You will want to include all the extracurriculars you do and you may even want to write about them in your personal essays. Some colleges do ask for letters of recommendation, so you will want to ask ahead of time to give your teachers time to really write out a well thought our letter that best represents you. Along with your high school transcript, you will also want to include either your  SAT scores and or your ACT scores.

Specifically here at Pinole Valley we have two college counselors who you can go to for any question you may have. We have Ms. Ana Laura who is here usually here every day at lunch and we also have Ms. Keyana who is here on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You will want to make a stop at building 1 to talk to them before you submit your college applications. They will be of great help when it comes to reviewing and helping you tweak your applications.

Here is a list that of helpful things that you will need while applying to colleges, so you may want to keep this in your notes either in your phone or computer.

  1. Your social security number
  2. Family information
    1. Father’s name, address, date of birth, and occupation
    2. Mother’s name, address, date of birth, and occupation
    3. Father’s college, degree, and date of graduation
    4. Mother’s college degree, and date of graduation
    5. Siblings, age(s), and college(s) attended
  3. Your transcript
    1. Courses taken
    2. Grade Point Average; Class Rank
    3. Test Scores (SAT I and II; and/or ACT)
  4. Extracurricular activities (prioritized in order of importance)
  5. Honors and awards
  6. School Information
    1. CEEB/ACT Code
    2. Counselor’s phone and fax number
  7. Your work history
    1. Name of employer
    2. Dates employed

The last piece of advice is to try and submit way before the application is due, as the websites tend to crash the last day before the submission closes. With that being said good luck on your journey of applying to colleges!