College application

Getting Started on College Applications - The Application Platforms

Business desk concept - LearningSummer is a great time to start college applications.

With this, many people ask, "How do I get started?"

Once you select where you are interested in applying, check which application type the college or university accepts.

There are four main college application platforms. Which you use is dependent upon which type is accepted by the college to which you are applying.

1. The Common App

Common App Tour (6min video)

If your school uses Naviance, you need to use the same email address and date of birth that you used to create your Common App account in order to match your Common App and Naviance accounts. Ask your guidance counselor which email to use if you are unsure. You will also need to add at least one school to your My Colleges list and complete the FERPA waiver in the Common App before matching can be completed.

A PDF Quick Guide to the Common App

FERPA and Your Application

2. Coalition Application

Coalition Application

Quick Guide to the Coalition Application

3. Universal College Application

The Universal College Application

4. School Specific Applications

Sample PDF of Virginia Tech Application (also available in an online format)


- Sandy Aprahamian - EDNavigators LLC

It's Essay Season - The Three Types of Essays Required of College Applicants

overwhelmedHigh school students are asked to write three types of essaysthroughout the college application process.  Each essay type is unique and requires a unique approach.

Know the essay purpose.  Know the reader/audience.  Know the format.  Have a plan.

SAT/ACT Essays (1-3 handwritten pages written under time constraints)

The Standardized test essays are persuasive essays.  They measure:

  • how clearly a student can express and defend an opinion
  • a student’s ability to write a traditional 5-6 paragraph essay
  • grammar, usage and mechanics
  • the ability to write under time constraints

Scores are not base upon accuracy of facts. Students are not judged on their opinion, but their ability to express and defend it.

The Personal Statement Essay ("your story" usually 650 words or less)college essay rescue

  • This is, essentially, a personal story or autobiography. It is the student’s way to set himself apart from the other students who present similar transcripts and test scores.
  • It is a way for the college to get to know the student.
  • It requires the student to dig deeply inside himself and reflect upon his life, who he is, and what he values.

The Supplemental Essays ("why us?"  "tell us more" usually 250 words or less)

  • These short essays tend to be either fact based or creative.
  • The fact based prompts require the student to research and explain or defend something.  They should contain accurate information.
  • The creative prompts are ways for the admissions readers to dig deeper into who the student is.

The three essay types above are very different and need to be approached differently.

 EDNavigators offers assistance with all of these essay types.

Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators LLC

Related Articles:

Essential information about the SAT Writing Score and the Essay

The New SAT vs the Current SAT vs the ACT - A Preliminary Look

EDNavigators Introduces Guided Path for Comprehensive Management of the College Process

Common Application Essay Prompts for 2014-15


HELP-time_managementWho is the giant? In the eyes of many high school students and their parents the college application process is the giant. Try these simple strategies for shrinking this giant.

  1. Have a goal and motivation to reach your goal. (Campus visits are great motivators.)
  2. Create a big-picture list of what needs to be accomplished throughout the process.
  3. Break the project into small pieces and complete the steps one at a time.
  4. Create a check list and check the boxes so you can visualize your accomplishments.
  5. Use a calendar and work backwards from the deadlines.
  6. Start early (freshman year of high school is not too early)
  7. Use a project manager. (In the case of college admissions, this is an Independent Educational Consultant.)
  8. Be positive and picture yourself succeeding each step of the way.

Tackled with confidence and a positive attitude, the college application process can be a wonderful experience of self-discovery  and can lead to immeasurable rewards.

Sandy Aprahamian, Owner, Independent Educational Consultant, EdNavigators