Lesson Three: College Applications
Lesson Summary and Objectives
Lesson three covers the college application process, holistic v. non-holistic reviews, and what to include to increase your chances of getting admitted into college.
This lesson will teach you the difference between a personal statement and writing sample with an activity aimed to help you find unique personal traits to include in your college applications.
Introduce students to the college application process including when, how and where to apply.
Differentiate between holistic and non-holistic application reviews and what to include in each in order to maximize your chances of admission.
Provide students with college application resources including helpful links to pertinent websites and direct access to a FFLV college counselor for help in applying to college.
Before you get started…
Nearing the end of your high school education is a huge accomplishment and also a time to apply to colleges if you are interested in pursuing a higher education.
College Applications: Holistic v. Non-Holistic Review
There are two main types of application review processes that colleges implement to admit students:
Admission is based purely on numerical values like your GPA and/or test scores. If you meet their minimum GPA and/or test score requirement, you’re in!
Admission is based on various personal factors to ensure a student is the right ﬁt for their campus. Holistic reviews will consider factors such as:
● Rigorous academic coursework
● Test scores on the ACT/SAT and AP courses
● Letters of recommendation
● Essays and short answer responses
● Extracurricular activities
● Talents or passions
● Special circumstances such as disabilities, illnesses, and family/ﬁnancial situations
Learn more about the admission requirements for Nevada’s public institutions.
The Common Application
The Common App is accepted by more than 900 schools within the United States and other countries and allows high school seniors to apply to multiple colleges and universities at once. Not all higher education institutions participate in The Common App so make sure to check out the website and visit the “Find A College” section to see if the college or university you are interested in is a member.
There are two main sections of the Common App. First is a series of questions and a personal essay that will be shared with each college or university on your list. Second are speciﬁc questions and writing prompts required by the colleges or universities you are applying to.
Common Black College Application
If you are interested in attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) make sure to check out the Common Black College Application which allows you to apply to multiple HBCUs.
The Four Parts of a College Application
There are generally four parts to a college application: Personal information, academic history, extracurriculars, and written responses. Watch the video lesson to learn more about each.
A personal statement is an essay you write to share who you are, what you are interested in pursuing and why you would be a good ﬁt for the college or university you are applying to. Personal statements are the way students introduce themselves to the admissions committee.
A writing sample is a way for colleges to see how proﬁcient of a writer you are and should therefore be written to the best of your ability. If possible, try to get a teacher or mentor to help you proofread before you submit a sample with your application.
Try to be creative and unique when writing your sample! Don’t be afraid to show your personality through your writing.
Complete this college application worksheet to prepare for the college application process.