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2 and 4-Year Degree Programs

Now that you’ve explored your options, let’s get ready to submit your application.  You can view steps for a specific college by clicking the below button.

  • If you know where you want to apply, the next step is to gather a number of documents.
    • Request Fee Waiver: Do you have a fee waiver for the application? If not, complete this form (instructions here) or contact your high school counselor.
    •  Request Recommendation Letters: How many recommendation letters are required for your application? What do you hope these letters highlight about you? Which teachers, coaches, or mentors can you ask to write a recommendation for you? Remember to:
      • Provide context and information to help your recommenders write strong letters for you. 
      • Provide a deadline and try to give as much advance notice as possible.
      • Tips on “How to Get a Great Letter of Recommendation” from The College Board
    • Transcript: Request a transcript from your school counselor.  You should be able to do this in Naviance. Take time to review your transcript and consider adding any missing details to your personal statement. 
      • What story does your transcript tell  to someone who doesn’t know you? Particularly to a college admissions officer? 
      • What would someone learn about you from your transcript? 
      • How has the unique circumstances of COVID-19 impacted your transcript? 
      • What  doesn’t your transcript show or tell about you? Make sure to include that in your personal statement.

  • This is your essay that is required for admission to most colleges and universities. It tells the story of who you are, where you’re going, and why. 
  • A strong statement has a singular focus and/or answers the specific prompt in the application. 
  • It includes personal revelation and reflection, revealing who you are as a person and what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, and the positive traits you’ve developed. 
  • Try to “show, not tell” by appealing to a wide range of senses when describing events, experiences, or emotions. 
  • This is your chance to shine by talking about your resilience, your accomplishments, and your ambitions. 
  • Lastly, don’t forget to check word count, spelling, and punctuation.
  • More resources about writing essays
  • Check out DePaul’s free Personal Statement review service!

More than 900 colleges accept the Common App, where you can complete general information once and use it to apply for multiple colleges.

The process:

  1. Create Account in the Common App and make sure to save your password.
  2. Fill out the required information on the Common App tab
  3.  Search for colleges on the College Search tab.  
    1. You can add filters to search by state, distance from a specific zip code, and other items such as standardized test and letter of recommendation requirements.  
    2. You can visit a college’s website from that list and do more research or click the + sign to add colleges to the My Colleges tab.
    3. When you add a college to the My Colleges tab, you can also see specific questions that college asks as part of the application process.  Make sure you check and answer these questions
    4. Once you have completed the questions for each college, you can review and submit the application for that college.

Other tips:

  • Download this step-by-step set of videos to fill out The Common App.
  • Visit the Financial Aid Resources tab for more information about the FAFSA and any resources specific to the colleges that you have added to your My Colleges tab.

Important notes before you begin: 

  • Use your personal email address or if you took the OneGoal class, you can use your OneGoal email address, which does not expire after you graduate.
  • Pick just ONE CCC to apply to even if you are interested in multiple campuses (it is a centralized application, which means the same application is used at all campuses).

The application process:

  1. Go to the CCC application page and enter the SAME personal email address twice and click “send new code” to send a code to that email address (unless you’ve already started the process)
  2. Plans At City College: On this page, click your interest in “two-year associate degree or certificate” and a longer application page should pop up.
  3. Select First Time College Student UNLESS you have done early college/dual enrollment course work at a City College (in which case, select “Returning: I have previously earned credit at one of the City Colleges)
  4. Check your cumulative GPA. If you are at or above a 3.0 make sure to click “YES” to the Star Scholarship
  5. If you did dual enrollment and earned credit at a City College, you should check “Returning”
  6. Select “Some High School” and June 2021 for your graduation date if you have not graduated yet. Select “High School Graduate” if you are applying after you graduated.
  7. Choose just one of the City Colleges to apply to (you only need to submit one application to attend multiple campuses.

Don’t forget about the CCC Star Scholarship!

  • Chicago Public Schools students are able to pursue a degree or certificate at City Colleges at no cost. That’s free tuition and books!
  • Requirements vary, but students generally need a GPA of at least 3.0 and must test completion-ready in math and English. If you’re a qualifying, graduating high school student, keep up the good work and you, too, could benefit from City Colleges’ Star Scholarship program!

More tips:

The two major steps in the application process is to submit both your application for admission as well as your application for financial aid without delay. You’ve probably already completed the FAFSA but if not, go to our Funding Options page.

  • OneGoal has 24 partner institutions, which includes two-year and four-year colleges.
  • This document details the  Application Methods associated with our partner institutions.  Some of these institutions have their own application, or they utilize the common application, or the Chicago City Colleges application.

Still confused?

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