Steps for Completing a College Application:

Helpful Handout: "I Applied...Now What?"

1.  Obtain or view the application from each school's admission page to which you are applying.
* ONLINE: Colleges prefer you to apply online
* STARID: If you took a Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) course or a Central Lakes College (CLC) course with KMHS you have created a Starid with the Minnesota State Colleges and University System. You will use this Starid to apply to any Minnesota State colleges. Creating a new starid if you already have one will create issues with transferring of credit.

2.  Read each application carefully and watch for these items:
  • If you will require a COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION (see notes below on COUNSELOR REC)

  • If you will require TEACHER LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (see notes below on RECOMMENDATIONS).

  • If you will require an ESSAY, (see notes below on ESSAYS).

  • Watch for DEADLINES and for ADDITIONAL MAILINGS REQUIRED (like mid-year reports).

3.  Complete each application carefully. 
Three tips: Be Neat; Be Complete; Be On Time. Make sure your application reflects you at your best.  Take your time. Write down when you did each step by using this college application worksheet.

4.  Request your "official" high school transcript through Naviance-Family Connection.
*Click on the Naviance-Family Connection login page.
^Student logins are usually their school email (i.e. )
^Passwords are usually their date of birth in mmddyyyy format (or it could be something they created on their own)
^If issues, use the "forgot your password" link on the login page or contact the Guidance Office for assistance.
*Once Naviance pulls up, click on “college” tab at the top of the page.

*Click on “transcripts” to the left under “resources”.
*Click on “request my transcript for my college applications”.
*If you already see your college listed just click on “add request”.
*If you don’t see your college, you will need to use the “lookup” and search for your college.
*Once all colleges are requested, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click “request transcripts”.
*That’s it. Once submitted, we will send off your transcripts electronically.
*If you want to double check that we sent your transcripts off you can redo the steps above but on step #5 click “view the status of all my transcript requests” instead and it will show you the date we sent your transcript.
5.  Have your official ACT/SAT results sent to each school.
If you did not request that scores be sent to the colleges you are applying to when you took the test, you can request scores be sent by going to (ACT) or (SAT) to request official scores be sent (there will be a fee). ACT & SAT scores are not included on your high school transcript that is sent to colleges.  

NOTE: Don't wait to send in your application until you have received the scores from your latest test. You usually can make a note on your application of the date of the test. The college will add your scores to your application when the scores arrive from ACT /SAT.  

6.  Have your college transcript sent to each school (if needed).

*If you took a Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU), Central Lakes College (CLC), or Rochester Community & Technical College (RCTC) course and have completed credit, you will may need to request to have your SMSU, CLC, or RCTC transcript sent to the colleges you are applying to.  First, check with the colleges you are applying to determine their preference of wanting a college transcript now or... when you enroll at their school.  Some colleges may be okay with your college courses just listed on your high school transcript.
*Click here t
o request your SMSU transcript.
*To request your CLC transcript, click here and then click on "student quicklinks". From there click on "request a transcript" and follow the link to the "offical transcript request". This will bring you to Dynamic Forms where you can click on "create a new account" to create a username and password to login in and fill out a transcript request form electronically.
*Click here to request your RCTC transcript.

*Each official SMSU/CLC/RCTC transcript request will cost you approximately $5-10.
If you are applying to a Minnesota State College (i.e. Mankato, St. Cloud, Winona, RCTC) you DO NOT need to request your SMSU, CLC, or RCTC transcript to be sent at the time of application. Rather, the admissions office at the Minnesota State College you are applying to will be able to pull it off the system since they use the same computer database.

*Handout: List of SMSU Courses/CLC Course Titles/Course Numbers/College Credits

Common Application 
Some schools allow you to use the Common Application to apply to several schools using the same basic form. Please be careful and note that there are several different pieces that have to be accessed and completed individually. Also check to see if the school requires an additional supplement to the Common Application. You will also need to link your Common Application to your Naviance account. 

Click here to learn how to link your Common App to Naviance.

Click here to watch a tutorial on how to link your Common App to Naviance
Note: If a college accepts the common application but also has their own application, use the Common Application if you are applying to multiple schools that use the Common Application.  If the school you are applying to is the only school that accepts the Common Application then use the college specific application.

Counselor Recommendation (Only Required for Some Colleges)

If your application will require a recommendation or comments from your counselor, you should provide her with a copy of your Activity Resume and schedule a meeting with her to discuss further details.

Letters of Recommendation
(Only Required for Some Colleges)
If you will require letters from teachers, you should request in person, face-to-face. Please provide the teacher with a copy of your activity resume as well as deadlines.  Please request letters at least 2-3 weeks prior to the application deadline.  If you are using the Common Application, this must also be requested to the teacher through Naviance as the teacher will upload your recommendation to the Naviance program. These letters are considered confidential, so the counselor cannot show them to you.
Note: Colleges typically like to see letters of recommendation from core subject area teachers (11th & 12th) and usually do not require more than 1-3 letters.
**Your request date of completion should not be the same date as your college admission deadlines - remember the counseling office needs a few school days to process your transcripts/letters once we have received the letters.
To check to see if your letters of recommendation have been turned in using Naviance 1.) Go to the "Colleges" tab 2.) "Colleges I'm Applying To" and it will show the teacher's name and if the recommendation has been completed.

If your application requires an essay, please take your time and proofread!  You may find it helpful to show your rough draft to an English teacher and/or other readers to get input. Make sure your final copy is carefully checked for grammar and spelling. 

If you are applying online, no one will get a chance to proof read it for you. 
Your essay is your chance to make a personal impression - make it a good one!
Activity Resume
Remember that the person reading your file does not know what some of our acronyms mean. For example, HOSA. Let them know that HOSA stands for Health Occupations Students of America. Take the opportunity to explain what the club is about. Make no assumptions! Tell the reader about your activities!
Final Reminders
  • Complete your own application. You are the one applying to college.

  • Fill out the application completely, do not leave questions blank.

  • Call the school if you have questions about the application or process.

  • Read over the application for errors. Have a parent proof your application before hitting submit.

  • Keep a copy of your applications and essays.

  • Remember to write a nice thank you note afterward to those individuals that wrote letters of recommendation on your behalf.

  • Remember to allow a few school days for the counseling office to process your applications.

  • Teacher recommendations must be in Naviance before the counseling office can submit your transcripts.

Be aware of your deadlines (you are responsible for knowing the deadline for each of your applications). 

DON'T PANIC: If you get a note from a college saying that part of your application is missing, DON'T PANIC. In all likelihood, it is at the office and simply hasn't been entered into the system yet. Check Naviance to see when your materials were sent, and give the college a few days to sort the mail before you request that we send a second set of documents. Confused? Questions? Stop into the Guidance Office and we will help! Or, you can call 507-634-2981.