College Application Process
How simple or extensive your application process will be depends on the types of colleges on your final list. A lot of moving parts go into applying to college—tests, essays, recommendation letters, transcripts—and each element has a deadline attached. Make careful note of deadlines for each school you're applying to so you don't miss them!
Schedule Your Senior Meeting
Seniors, be sure to schedule your fall senior meeting with the counseling assistant. Meetings should be scheduled for before Thanksgiving break. Students who are applying early decision or early action should meet with their counselor before mid-September. At the meetings, counselors will recheck graduation requirements, address college application issues, and answer any career questions you may have. The Fall Senior Meeting presentation is posted on our BHS Counseling Events Website.
- Grad Check
- Senior Meeting Document & Naviance/College Search Video
- Documentation You Must Complete
- Standardized Tests
- Financial Fit, Scholarships, & Financial Aid
- College Fairs
- Colleges I'm Thinking About
- Applying to College
- Athletes: NCAA Eligibility Center
Link to the Class of 2024's Senior Meeting Document, which summarizes a lot of important information that you'll cover in your senior meeting with your counselor: Letters of Rec, Common App, Scholarships, Documentation, and more.
- Confirmation of Name on Diploma — Seniors will receive a Diploma Name Form in their BVSD email after the Senior Assembly. Using this Google form, seniors will submit how they want their name to appear on their diploma (e.g., add accent marks, use initials, no middle name, etc.). This is a required form that all seniors must complete. Contact Theresa van Zante (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions.
- Release of Records — Parents/guardians must complete a Google form, which includes their digital signature, in order for Boulder High to send transcripts on your behalf. The link to the Google form is emailed to senior parents after the Senior Assembly in August. If needed, email email@example.com to request the link to the form be sent again. We cannot send your transcript and letters of recommendation until this is completed! If you are applying to Common Application schools, you will be filling out the FERPA on the Common Application, but you also need to complete one for Boulder High School. There are four good reasons to waive your rights to see recommendations:
- "Waiving your right lets colleges know that you do not intend to read your recommendations, which helps reassure colleges that the letters are candid and truthful." (from the Common Application FERPA)
- If you do not waive your right to read the letter, the college may not read the letter of recommendation due to concern that the recommender is not being candid.
- "Some recommenders may decline to write a letter for you if you do not waive your rights." (from the Common Application FERPA)
- If you have chosen your references carefully, there is little need to see the recommendation once you are admitted. It is considered a sign of faith in yourself to trust that a recommendation writer will say good things about you.
- Remember: You can only access Naviance through your SSO (Single-Sign-On Portal) at my.bvsd.org.
- Review “Colleges I’m Thinking About” (add schools, review graphs, deadlines, admissions requirements, delivery method, etc.). You will be moving colleges here to "Colleges I'm Applying to" in order to request transcripts be sent.
- Optional: Review your results from the “Do What You Are” and “Career Interest Profiler.” (We can reset these if you feel they no longer reflect who you are now.)
- Access five years of data of BHS student admissions history in Naviance: scattergrams or graphs; college search engines; SuperMatch; direct links to colleges websites; and entrance requirements.
- For more information on Naviance search options, see the BHS Researching Colleges Website.
- Colleges may want an official score report as part of your application. If you plan to take any more tests, check www.collegeboard.org and/or www.act.org to find test dates and registration deadlines. You will also register and pay for your tests online.
- Test-optional colleges are becoming more common. You will need to check with the college you are applying to and clarify whether or not you are required to submit your test scores. Some private colleges and universities in Colorado are test optional. These include Colorado College, Regis University, and the University of Denver.
- Make sure that you contact the testing companies to have your test scores sent directly to the schools to which you are applying. You “own” your test scores and must be the one to send them to colleges. Boulder High cannot do this for you.
- Now is the time to be sure you can log in to ACT/College Board (SAT and AP) so you can order your score reports.
See more information on our BHS College Entrance Exams Website.
- All colleges are required to have a “Cost Calculator” on their websites—use these to estimate college cost for your family. Check our BHS Financial Aid and Scholarships Website for more information.
- Be sure to attend the Financial Aid Night presentation in the fall so you can incorporate financial need into your college plans. Go to the BHS Counseling Events Website for more information.
- Check to see if your school is affiliated with the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) for potential reduced tuition!
- Fill out scholarship applications at each college you are applying to. Also use one or two national search databases, like Fastweb. Check Naviance for postings on scholarships and their deadlines.
- Register for the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF): https://cof.college-assist.org/
- Application for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form opens October 1. Also complete the CSS Profile if your school requires it.
- Add your college choices to Naviance in the "Colleges I’m Thinking About" section under "Colleges."
- You will move these to "Colleges I’m Applying To" in order to submit your transcript request.
- Your college list should include about 4-8 schools you want to attend. Check scattergrams/graphs to ensure that you are creating a reasonable college list. We will discuss this at your individual senior meeting.
- When creating your college list, we suggest the following: 1-2 sure bets; 3-4 good matches; and 1-2 reach schools. Remember monitor your expenses! 8 applications x $90 = $720 + test scores ($15/school), etc.
- Refer to our BHS Researching Colleges Website for more information, including factors in college admission .
- It is your responsibility to know specific admission requirements for the school you are applying to (specific courses, etc.).
- If you change your senior schedule (drop academic courses) after you apply, you will need to notify schools.
- Many schools will ask you to create an account, which requires processing time. Don’t wait until the last minute!
- Colleges may request your mid-year grades and will require a final transcript that includes all your high school work.
- Rigorous courses and stable or upward trend of grades are most desirable.
If you plan on playing Division I or Division II sports in college, register online with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Visit our NCAA Info for BHS Athletes Website for more information on course requirements and eligibility.
- Letters of Recommendation
- Initial Transcript Request
- Paying for Transcript Requests
- Requesting Midyear Transcripts
- Requesting a Final Transcript (Now Part of Your Senior Survey!)
- Already Graduated and Applying to College? Follow These Steps
*Note: Naviance is used to request Letters of Recommendation. Visit the Naviance page for more information on this tool. Students must access Naviance by first going to my.bvsd.org and then selecting the Naviance tile.
How to Request a Counselor Letter of Recommendation
Step 1: Check the applications of your prospective schools to see if they require a counselor letter of recommendation. Note that if you are applying via the Common Application, a counselor letter of recommendation or counselor form is required.
Step 2: Complete your “Senior Reflection" and turn this in ONE MONTH before your first deadline. To locate the Senior Reflection, go to the home page and find the ‘Welcome to Naviance’ message on the right-hand side. Click on ‘Additional Information from your School’ underneath it. Please copy/paste it and email the responses to your counselor. We encourage you to work with your parent/guardian on this.
Step 3: Once your "Senior Reflection" is complete, email or send it electronically to your counselor. Also include your first deadline in the email. If you complete this in Naviance, your counselor will not be notified.
How to Request a Teacher Letter of Recommendation
Step 1: Make sure you need a letter. Not all schools require a letter of recommendation. This information will be available on a college’s website under Admission Materials or on Naviance. If you are applying to a school via the Common Application, you will likely need two teachers and one counselor letter. Again, students should check with each school.
Step 2: If you need a letter of recommendation, at least ONE MONTH before your first deadline, have a conversation with a teacher whom you had last year or have this year. The teacher should be someone you have a good working relationship with. Then ask your teacher if they would be willing to write a letter on your behalf.
Step 3: After asking your teacher, you should complete the necessary steps on Naviance. This should be done four weeks prior to your earliest application date.
Step 4: Login to Naviance using the Single Sign on Portal and follow these steps:
- From your homepage in Naviance, click on COLLEGES at the top.
- On the drop down menu under APPLY TO COLLEGE, click on LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION.
- Click ADD REQUEST, which is located on the right side of the screen.
- Select the teacher who agreed to write you the letter from the dropdown menu under #1.
- You have two options here!
Option 1 - General Request
Option 2 - Specific Request: If you’ve already requested transcripts, your schools will be listed. You will see how many letters of recommendation are required and the maximum amount of letters you would like to send. You can indicate which schools you would like your teacher to send a letter to if a school limits the amount of letters they will accept. If you add a transcript request later, you will need to go back and request the letter be sent to the school you added.
- Under #3, show your teacher your gratitude with a thank you note!
- Click “Submit Request” when you are done.
Step 5: Ask your teacher if they would like you to fill out a brag sheet. They may ask you to fill out a brag sheet they give you or they may ask you to fill out the one located in Naviance. To locate the Teacher Brag Sheet in Naviance, go to your initials on the right hand side of the homepage, which is located next to the log out button, and select SURVEYS FROM MY SCHOOL. Then follow these steps:
- Scroll down and click on TEACHER RECOMMENDATION BRAG SHEET 1. (Two teacher brag sheets exist.)
- Complete the survey, giving your teacher detailed and specific information you want included in your letter. After you fill one out, please copy it and email it to your teacher. Please send this to your teacher at least one month before your first deadline.
- Do not list your current BHS teachers in your Common App recommender section--only add them to your Naviance list. Only list a recommender in your Comm App list if they are not part of BHS currently (retired teachers, coaches, etc.).
- You are responsible for providing the teacher and your counselor with a stamped/addressed envelope for each institution if the letter and transcript cannot be sent electronically.
- For Edoc and Common App, the teacher will upload their letter into Naviance. (With Common App, teachers will also complete the Teacher Evaluation.) These will be sent simultaneously with your transcripts.
How to Make Transcript requests in naviance
**The option to make a transcript request in Naviance will be active after the Senior Assembly, where counselors will review the transcript request process with students.**
As soon as you know the schools you are applying to and the application deadlines, please submit a transcript request in Naviance. In order for us to send your final transcript in June, every school you apply to must be added to Naviance for an initial transcript request. You MUST have your Release of Records (ROR) signed by your parents before we can send your transcript. Also, a fee of $2 per transcript request must be paid online via RevTrak when you make your transcript requests in Naviance. Unpaid transcript fees will be added to your school fines. See the panel below for payment instructions.
Requesting a Transcript in Naviance
- In Naviance, select the "Colleges" in the upper right corner. On the drop down menu, add your colleges to “Colleges I am thinking about.” In the search box, you can search for the college you will be applying to by typing in the name. Then click on the heart next to the college to add it to your list. You can also add colleges by clicking on “+ Add Colleges to List.”
- Next, click on the box next to the college and select “Move to Application.”
- You will be asked to indicate your application deadline and how you are applying to the college (directly to the institution or via the Common Application). You need to let us know or the default will be sending it via the Common Application. The college will only receive your application if it aligns with the way the transcript is sent.
- Select if you plan to submit your SAT or ACT scores to be considered during the admission review process.
- Click “Add and request transcripts.”
- Indicate “Initial” and “Request and Finish.”
- Remember: In order for us to send your final transcript in June, every school you apply to must be added to Naviance for an initial transcript request.
A fee of $2 per transcript request must be paid online using RevTrak. For example, if you are requesting transcripts to be sent to 5 colleges/universities, then your total payment would be $10. Please be sure to make your payment when you enter your transcript requests in Naviance. Unpaid transcript fees will be added to your school fines.
Payment must be by credit card for the exact amount due. Do not overpay; we cannot track credits for future requests. In January, any remaining amount due for transcripts will be applied to your student's school fees in IC.
To pay online by credit card on RevTrak:
1. Copy the following URL to go directly to transcript payments in RevTrak: https://bvsd.revtrak.net/high-schools/boh/boh-additional-boulder-high-opportunities/#/v/boh-transcripts
- OR - Go to the Boulder High homepage at boh.bvsd.org and under "School Life" select "Fees & Payments" then "Pay Student Fees." Once in RevTrak, select "High School" "Boulder" > "Additional Boulder High Opportunities," then in the left-hand column at the bottom, select "BOH Transcripts."
2. Follow the online instructions to complete your transaction. Email Theresa van Zante at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. (You do not need to email your receipt.)
*Transcript fees are waived for students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch. Contact email@example.com to request a waiver. If this fee is a hardship for you, please let your counselor know.
Pago por el expediente académico
Antes de que podamos enviarles el expediente o los expedientes académicos, deberán pagarse con tarjeta de crédito en línea derechos de $2 dólares por expediente. Por ejemplo, si solicitan el envío de expedientes a 5 instituciones de educación superior, el pago total sería de $10. El pago deberá hacerse con tarjeta de crédito por el importe apropiado.
Pago en línea con tarjeta de crédito con RevTrak
Haga clic en la URL que sigue para ir directamente a los pagos por expedientes en RevTrak: https://bvsd.revtrak.net/high-schools/boh/boh-additional-boulder-high-opportunities/#/v/boh-transcripts
- O - Diríjase a la página principal de Boulder High boh.bvsd.org y bajo "School Life" seleccione "Fees & Payments" luego "Pay Student Fees." Cuando estéleccione el mosaico "Additional Boulder High Opportunities", luego seleccione en la columna izquierda, en la parte inferior, "BOH Transcripts."
La Oficina de los Asesores recibirá aviso cuando se haya realizado su pago.
Descargo de derechos
Si han recibido aprobación para recibir el Almuerzo gratuito o con descuento, diríjanse por correo electrónico a firstname.lastname@example.org para obtener el descargo de derechos por sus expedientes.
Seniors, if your colleges/universities have asked for midyear transcripts, you may request these through Naviance starting mid-January. We will begin processing requests once midyear transcripts are finalized in late January. Please note there is no charge for midyear transcripts. Watch the short video for instructions on how to request midyear transcripts, or see the information below.
Students can request midyear transcripts in Naviance by going to Colleges I'm Applying To > Manage Transcripts > click pink plus sign > College Application Transcript. Select Midyear Transcript and choose the schools you want to send it to, then click Done > Request and Finish. (The initial transcript will also show as selected.) Note: If you make a midyear transcript request for one or more Common App schools in your list, Naviance will automatically send a midyear transcript to ALL your Common App schools.
Seniors! Your final transcript request is now included in the BVSD Senior Survey (Question #2; see image below). Starting early May, login to Naviance to complete the Senior Survey and make your final transcript request. Go to your initials on the right hand side of the home page, which is located next to the log out button. On the drop down menu, click on “Surveys from Your School.”
If you've already made your final transcript request in Naviance, that's okay—BVSD still has several other questions to ask. Link to Senior Survey Instructions.
Know that your college registration and financial aid can be blocked if you fail to send your college a final high school transcript. Also know that these transcripts are normally sent out to colleges by the second week of June. (Colleges know this!)
We will begin processing requests once transcripts are finalized in June. Please note there is no charge for a final transcript to be sent. If you cannot access Naviance after graduation, email email@example.com with your final transcript request.
If you have already graduated from Boulder High School and are starting to apply to college, please follow these steps:
- Request transcripts here: https://boh.bvsd.org/
counseling/transcripts#fs- panel-141649. Follow the instructions for alumni and complete the Transcript Request Form.
- If you need to send test scores, request them directly from collegeboard.org or act.org.
- If you need to send the Common Application School Report and the Common Application Counselor Recommendation form, please reach out to your counselor.
- If you need to send the Common Application Teacher Evaluation form and letter of recommendation, please reach out directly to the teacher(s).
- If your school requires different forms, please let your counselor and teacher(s) know. Link to the BHS Staff Directory.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the schools you apply to receive all required documents.
- Common Application
- College-Specific Applications
- Coalition for College
- Data You Will Need for Your Application
- ED, EA, Regular, and Rolling
- Parts of the Application
Tips for Using Common Application
- Use a professional personal email address for your Common Application account. Your BVSD account will be turned off when you graduate and you may need to access your CA account later.
- Make sure all your Common App schools are listed on your Common App account before you turn in your transcript request form, otherwise we cannot send your documentation.
- You will need letters of recommendation.
- Some schools only take Common App, some don’t accept it at all. Review the application process for your schools so you know what to expect. For schools that accept both their own and Common App, compare the amount of work for each app and choose which sounds better.
- Remember to match your Common App to your Naviance account. (See step 4 below.) Please ask for help if you have any questions.
How to register for the Common App and Match to Naviance
- Set up your Common Application account. Be very careful about which email and password you create; it MUST match what you enter in Naviance (later). Do not use your BVSD email on your college applications. This email will deactivate when you graduate.
- In Common App, once you ADD a school you will see the “FERPA” button within that school. Complete the FERPA waiver from within your Common App account. The FERPA waiver is completed only once and covers all current and future colleges and recommenders. You can only see the “FERPA” button once you add at least one school to your account.
- You will want to waive your rights to see your recommendations and give permission for the school to send your records and recommendations.
- Go back to your “Colleges I’m Applying To” page, enter your Common App email address, and click on “match.”
- Your Common Applications are now linked to Naviance. Make sure colleges listed on your “Applying To” page are also listed in your Common Application schools.
- Be sure to answer “Applying via Common App?” next to each school listed on your applying to page. You must answer “yes” in order for Naviance to link that school to Common App.
Common Application’s “Help Center” has loads of useful information to guide you through each step of the Common App, and it is manned 24 hours a day.
Some colleges provide their own, college-specific application systems, allowing them to control and customize questions, forms, and final data collection. These may be offered instead of OR as an alternative to services provided by Common Application or the Coalition Application. For example, CSU accepts either the Common App or its own application.
If the college name does NOT appear on the Common App Member Colleges or Coalition Member Colleges, then it likely provides a college-specific format. To verify which application types a college accepts, search the college's website for freshman or undergraduate admissions instructions.
Here are some examples of colleges that EXCLUSIVELY accept their own, college-specific applications:
- Auburn University
- California State Universities (Cal Poly, etc.)
- Front Range Community College
- Georgetown University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of California (UCLA, UC Berkeley, etc.)
- University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
- University of Colorado, Denver
- University of Texas (UT Austin, etc.)
- University of Wisconsin
Note: If you are applying to only ONE Common App member college, check if the school has its own application as this would be less time-consuming than the Common App. DO NOT send both applications or you may delay your application process.
While the Common Application accepts applications for more than 700 colleges, the Coalition provides applications for approximately 140 member colleges, most of whom also accept Common Applications. Here are some useful links if you decide to use the Coalition for some of your applications:
- Counselor Title: Counselor
- Class of 2024—509 students
- BHS School Code—060115
- 4.0 Grading Scale
- BVSD does not rank.
- You can get an unweighted GPA in Naviance (scattergrams). BVSD does not have an official unweighted GPA.
- It is very important to communicate well during the application process. Remember to regularly check your email and to check in!
Regular Decision: This is the most common type of deadline that applies to most applications. Regular decision college application deadlines are typically around the beginning of January. Colleges send the acceptance letters sometime in March. You have until the end of April to accept. Advantages of Regular Decision include:
- Unrestricted choice.
- Time to decide where you want to apply.
- Time to compose a well-considered application.
- Ability to submit your 1st semester senior year grades for consideration.
- Ability to take more standardized tests in Nov. or Dec. of your senior year.
- Financial aid and scholarship awards are available to help you make your decisions.
Early Action (EA) is the most flexible way to apply early. Almost all early action policies allow applicants to apply to multiple schools for early or regular admission decisions. You will receive notification of acceptance, denial, or deferral usually by mid-December. If you are accepted, you are not committed to enroll and you have until May 1 to decide. This gives your family the ability to compare financial aid packages between colleges to which you are accepted.
Early Decision (ED): Under this admissions program, you agree to attend this school if accepted, and you can’t apply to any other college or university. If you receive an acceptance letter, you must withdraw any other applications to other schools. Since this option is binding, you need to be sure about your choice and realistic about your application. Make sure you get your guidance counselor’s opinion before you submit an application with early decision.
Rolling Admission: Common at large state universities, schools that provide rolling admissions allow students to apply at any time during their admissions period; typically, September through July. The school then evaluates each college application as it’s received and sends acceptance letters to students who meet their requirements. Since admission is granted on a first-come, first-serve basis, you’ll want to submit your application as early as possible.