College Application Process » College Application Process

College Application Process

There are many reasons to attend college, just as there are many reasons not to attend. However, at Chavez we believe in providing students with as many opportunities as possible. Going to college and earning a degree can provide students with many opportunities for the future including more options for (higher paying) jobs. Please explore the links below to read various reasons that a college education is beneficial.

Is College Worth it? Clearly, New Data Say

College: What it's All About and Why it Matters

Top 10 Reasons Why College is Important

5 Reasons Why College is Still a Good Idea

Level of Education and Average Earnings from 2018

How the Coronavirus is Upending College Admissions

The best resource for researching schools is your Naviance Student account. You can use their search engines to compare colleges (see "Find Your Fit- SuperMatch"). You can also view scattergrams to see how you compare against previous students applying to similar colleges. We also strongly encourage you to visit with college reps during their visits to Chavez.

Additional resources for researching colleges:

We encourage students to come in and meet with us to discuss who they are in relation to the types of colleges that might be a good fit. Sometimes the eye of a keen observer on the outside can be better than what you think you may know. So, stop in and have a conversation, be open and honest, and we assuredly guide you towards a path that will be most successful for you. If not, then we will start over until we get it right!

DO's and DONT's in the College Search:

  • DO be honest! It is the quickest and most stress free to way to get the results you want!

  • DON'T follow your friends! This is most surely the slowest and most stressful way to NOT get the results you want!

  • DO listen to your parents and family, but KNOW that the decision will always, ultimately, be yours to make.

  • DON'T undersell yourself in the application process. Stand up and SHINE!

  • DO know that your counselors have your best interests in mind. If you are open, we will support you and fight for you when necessary.

  • DON'T be unrealistic! Numbers do not lie.

  • DO know who you are as an academic and social person and know your limitations.

  • DO identify what is MOST important to you and keep this mind when doing your college search.


1. The general, comprehensive personal statement, sometimes called "the college essay":

This is a required component of the Common App. There is maximum freedom in terms of what you write, and this essay will be submitted to every college you apply to. Click on this link for more info (also read below).

2. Additional essays or short answers that are usually responses to very specific questions:

Often, colleges applications ask questions or provide prompts in addition to your personal statement. You should respond specifically to what is being asked. Some colleges favor multiple essays or short responses.

We will work on these together in Senior Seminar, however, as a quick tidbit, a personal statement is:

  • A picture. Your personal essay should produce a picture of you as a person, a student, a potential scholarship winner, and (looking into the future) a former scholarship recipient.

  • An invitation. The reader must be invited to get to know you, personally. Bridge the assumed distance of strangers. Make your reader feel welcome.

  • An indication of your priorities and judgment. What you choose to say in your statement tells the committee what your priorities are. What you say, and how you say it, is crucial.

  • A story, or more precisely, your story. Everyone has a story to tell, but we are not all natural storytellers. If you are like most people, your life lacks inherent drama. This is when serious self-reflection, conversation with friends, family, and mentors, and permission to be creative come in handy.

A personal statement is not:

  • An academic paper with you as the subject. The papers you write for class are typically designed to interpret data, reflect research, analyze events or readings--all at some distance. We are taught to eliminate the "I" from our academic writing. In a personal statement your goal is to close the distance between you and the reader. You must engage on a different, more personal level than you have been trained.

  • An essay that reads like a resume of accomplishments and goals tells the reader nothing that they could not glean from the rest of the application. It reveals little about the candidate, and is a wasted opportunity.

  • A journal entry. While you may well draw on experiences or observations captured in your personal journal, your essay should not read like a diary. Share what is relevant, using these experiences to give a helpful context for your story. And include only what you are comfortable sharing--be prepared to discuss at an interview what you include.

  • Most importantly, a personal statement is authentic. Don't make the mistake of trying to guess what the committee is looking for, and don't write what you think they want to hear. They want to know you.




  • You may apply to colleges either directly through an individual school's website, or through a 3rd party application like the Common App. Please see the website of the school you are applying to for specific instructions.

  • Once you have applied, please update your Naviance account, and request your transcript be sent. If you do not do this, then your application is not complete!

Naviance Student can be used for:

  • researching colleges

  • comparing your statistics to colleges' requirements/scattergrams

  • requesting letters of recommendation from college counselors and teachers

  • keeping counselors posted on where you are applying

Please ensure that your naviance student account is up to date and ready to go.

The Common Application (Common App)

The Common Application or the "Common App" is ONE undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of 900+ member colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally. Schools that accept the Common App include over 100 public universities, eleven HBCUs, and over 250 institutions that do not require an application fee.

The Common App allows you to send all of the same information to several schools. This includes a personal statement/essay and an academic resume. Some schools may require additional essays.

We will be working with you to complete the Common App during class. Please visit think LINK to learn more.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I) and Subject Test

The SAT is a fee-based standardized test for college admissions in the U.S., and is administered by College Board. The SAT covers writing, reading, and mathematics. SAT scores range from 400 to 1600, with each of the two sections worth up to 800 points. Most students take the test during their Junior or Senior year of high school. The SAT compares to the ACT, another standardized college admissions test. Either/both are generally accepted at most schools.

SAT Subject Tests are intended to measure student performance in specific areas, such as mathematics, science, and history.

Submitting your SAT scores to colleges has to be done through collegeboard. Please view the video to learn how to submit your SAT scores to colleges.

Quick Facts:

  • TMA will not be offering a SAT school day this year.

  • See below to learn about Fee Waivers.

American College Test (ACT)

The ACT® test is another popular college entrance exam that is accepted by all universities and colleges in the United States.

To learn how to send your ACT scores to colleges, please visit this LINK and scroll down the page to attached video.

College Applications

If you are applying to colleges on the Common App, and have received the Collegeboard Fee Waiver, you can transfer your waiver to the common app, which will waive ALL your college application fees to the colleges who participate in the fee waiver program.

SAT/ACT Test Waivers

Each senior gets the following support with paying for the SAT and ACT examination. Please note that these test cost roughly $45 - $65 per sitting.

For the SAT, students get to take it twice in their high school career through the SAT School Day program (usually in March of the Junior year and October of the Senior year) at no cost to the student or family.

For the ACT, students only get one waiver for the exam (these waivers are extremely limited). You have until the end of the registration to submit four (4) score submission at no additional cost. After the registration, there is a fee of $12 to submit your test scores to colleges.

If you want to play Division I, II, or III, you need to create an account on NCAA Eligibility Center. Talk to Mr. Cross about a fee waiver. From there, college coaches can choose to recruit you based on your stats.

DIII sports and intramural sports are a good way to participate in college athletics without committing all of your time to practice. They do not offer scholarships, but are a good option for student athletes who do not have the stats to be recruited for DI or DII.

NCAA Coronavirus Updates