Understand how applications work. See:
- Steps to Apply which shows the three or four parallel processes. Test scores are optional for most colleges.
- College Deadline Types infographic regarding Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Decision, and Rolling.
- College Application Components infographic to show how all application elements start with you.
Organize your applications
- Checklist for Application Tasks (make a copy and customize it to you) will help you focus & track your efforts.
- Customizable App Tracker (make a copy & edit) will help you keep all details in one place.
- College Application Packet 2022-2023, which contains the above items and many other resources.
Realize that Naviance is Necessary
All students applying to college (4-year or 2-year) will use Naviance as their application manager. Naviance is how we know:
- where you are applying;
- when you are doing so;
- what materials you need
AND, most importantly Naviance is HOW we actually send your materials, so if you do not set it up just how you want, we cannot send school materials for you.
Here's how to access Naviance
- Go go Classlink in your Google k12 account
- FInd & click on Naviance Student. The other Naviance option will not work for students.
- It should login directly to your Naviance account via your Google k12 account.
- If you see a login page with fields for a username & password, ignore that and click Single Sign On.
Watch videos about each part of the process
- College Application Basics Fall 2020
- Add Colleges to Naviance
- Introduction to Coalition and Common Applications
- Letters of Recommendation How-To
- How to Apply to 4-Year Colleges As a Running Start Student
- Match Common App and Naviance Accounts (Naviance video)
Determine Application TypeTo figure out the type of application your schools use, do both of the following:
The application section of a college website will tell you not only if the college has its own application or uses the Common Application or another platform. The website will also tell you all of the fine print about application elements. Since college applications vary so much, it is imperative that you read and follow the instructions on each college's website.
- Add schools to your Colleges I'm Applying To list in Naviance and look at the icons using the key below. If there is a "?" you have a choice and need to decide which choice you will make and indicate that in Naviance.
- Check each college's website. The sequence is usually Admissions > Apply > First Year Application.
Complete Common App if needed
If you have Common App Schools, create a Common App account
Match the Common App with Naviance only after your Senior Year Has Begun. Here's a video from Naviance walking you through the process: Match Common App & Naviance
Step by step instructions for the FERPA Waiver with screenshots: FERPA and the Common ApplicationNotify Your Counselor
Complete Other Application if Needed
Some colleges use other systems for their applications
Add Schools to Your Colleges I'm Applying To List
Add schools to your Colleges I'm Applying To List in Naviance
Select Application Deadlines
Select Application TypesNote that you must verify all deadlines on the college website; Naviance often lists all possible deadline names rather than only the deadlines for that particular school.
Select Application Method (Common App, Direct to Institution)
Select How You Will Submit Your ApplicationChoose:
If you have several Common App schools, it will be easiest for you to select Common App for all the schools that have it as an option.
- Common App* or
- Direct to Institution. In Naviance, this option is for both Coalition App colleges and Direct to Institution applications, where you fill out an application that is only for that particular school.
In the Transcript Dialog:Select add r
- Colleges > Apply to Colleges from dropdown menu > Manage
- Colleges I'm Applying To > Request Transcripts on the top right just above your list
- If you request your transcript in summer or fall of your senior year, then it will be your transcript through the end of junior year. Your midyear transcript will be sent after Semester 1 grades post in early February.
- If you request a transcript after Semester 2 has started, the transcript will include Semester 1 courses and grades.
- The University of Washington Seattle and University of California schools do not require transcripts with initial applications, so you do not need to request them for UW Seattle or any of the UC school. Most other schools, including UW Bothell, do require transcripts.
- Transcripts can also be requested when you add colleges to your application list.
- If you are a Running Start student, you will have to request transcripts from SCC (or the community college you attend). See SCC Official Transcript Requests.
Formalize Letter of Recommendation Requests
Request Letters of Recommendation in Naviance only after you have talked with teachers. Ask only if you need letters; many schools do not require them.
For complete instructions, see the Letters of Recommendation page.
Formalize the Requests in Naviance for Teacher letters only
Review Naviance Application List
Review your Application List
Match Naviance to Common App (necessary if you have Common App Colleges)
Match the Common App with Naviance only after your Senior Year Has Begun
Directions for the FERPA Waiver: Download FERPA and the Common Application for step-by-step instructions.Notify Your Counselor
Keep Naviance Updated
Update Naviance When
When you decide: Select the College Attending
After you decide and have updated the outcomes of all of your applications, select the school you will be attending using the dropdown at the bottom of your list.
Last Step: Order Final Transcript
The Final Transcript request option will be activated in spring of your senior year. You will not be able to order it during the fall or winter.
After you have decided which college you will be attending, updated the outcomes of all of your applications, and selected your choice at the bottom of your list, then:
• Click on Manage Transcripts at the top of your list
• Order a Final Transcript to be sent to the ONE college you will be attending.
Do not order multiple final transcripts for multiple colleges.
If you need an additional final transcript for college athletics or the military, see Mrs. Roma as she will send those directly to the agency.
Decide whether to send scoresAs of November 2020, nearly all colleges are test optional. For fine print on what that means, look at each college's website. Most students will need to decide whether to send their scores on a case-by-case basis.If you have scores, then you want to figure out if the scores will give you an advantage or not. If you have been unable to test, don't worry about it. You will be fine!For colleges that have a lot of Shorewood applicants, look at the Scattergrams in Naviance.Look up a college in Naviance > Admissions > scroll down to the Scattergrams. The little blue circle will show how you compare with previous Shorewood applicants. If your averages are better than the dotted line that indicates the average scores from Shorewood, then submit. If you are below that line, then don't submit.For colleges with few Shorewood applicants, go to a tool like CollegeData.com.Search for a particular college, select Admission, then scroll down to score ranges. If you are on the high end of the ranges, send the scores. If you are not, don't.
Look up how each college wants the scoresAccepted reporting methods vary by school. Check the fine print on each college's website and refer to:Please note that you will have to provide official test score reports when requested and during the enrollment process.Never lie about scores or anything else on college applications. You will be found out and any acceptance will be rescinded.
Official Score Reports (some schools)
Have your Test Scores Sent
Unofficial Reports (some schools)A few colleges accept unofficial scores directly from the student. Accepted reporting methods vary by school. Check the fine print on each college's website and refer to:Your college may let you simply fill in the scores on your application, or they may want a screen shot or the PDF report from the testing agency. Following the college's instructions is an excellent way to demonstrate that you care about their particulars. Submitting things in ways they do not want you to is not a great indicator.Even if you are able to submit unofficial report, you may have to provide official test score reports when requested and during the enrollment process.Never lie about scores or anything else on college applications. You will be found out and any acceptance will be rescinded.
Send Scores through Coalition AppIf you are applying using the Coalition Application, you can send your scores along with your application. This step is new for the fall of 2019.When you go to the SAT/ ACT section of the Profile section in the Coalition App, you will be asked "If you would like to send your SAT and SAT Subject test scores to colleges via MyCoalition, you may begin that process on the Send Test Scores page." click the link for the page, and you will first be prompted to link your College Board account with your Coalition account, and then you can go through the process to order official score reports for your colleges.
If you have a College Board fee waiver, you can send scores to an unlimited number of colleges, even schools that aren’t members of the Coalition at no cost.
FAFSAMost families will fill out the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
For more information on how Financial Aid and the FAFSA work, see other pages on this site:
- Only use the site fafsa.ed.gov.
- The application opens October 1 of every year, and must be filed every year for a student to be eligible for aid.
- Fill out the FAFSA that corresponds with the college start date. The Shorewood Class of 2021 will fill out the 2020-2021 FAFSA starting the fall of 2019.
- You will use the prior prior year tax information. For the 2021-2022 FAFSA, families will use 2019 tax information.
WASFASome students will fill out the WASFA instead of the FAFSA.The WASFA is for public and private, not-for-profit colleges in Washington State only, not colleges in other states.Refer to the image below to determine which form you should file:If you are not certain, go to readysetgrad.wa.gov/wasfa and click Start a New WASFA. The form begins with several questions and when completed, you will be told to either to proceed with the WASFA or to file the FAFSA instead.The WASFA also opens on October 1 of every year.
CSS ProfileCSS ProfileSome schools use the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA.The profile is completed through the College Board. Families will use cssprofile.collegeboard.org to find out more and to file the form.To figure out if your school requires the CSS Profile, check both the site linked above for the most updated list and each college's website. Look under the Financial Aid section to find out the required applications (FAFSA / WASFA only or FAFSA and CSS Profile) and the deadlines.
Includes Naviance screen shots to walk you through various tasks.
Having trouble with Naviance steps on your Chromebook?
If something in Naviance isn't working like it is supposed to and you are using your Chromebook, try clearing the cache and cookies. Here's how:
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More (the three vertical dots).
- Click More tools then select Clear browsing data.
- At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
- Check the boxes next to Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files
- Click the blue Clear data button at the bottom.
For some issues, you may have to enable pop-ups.