Working With Your High School To Complete Your Application
There are several critical pieces of your application that you will need to work on with your school.
Your school guidance department will likely have a specific procedure to follow (or form to fill out) to request transcripts, so make sure you know how to get copies of your grades sent to every college that needs them. Transcripts must be sent directly from your high school. For schools that use Naviance, transcript orders are typically made through this online system. Most high schools will not send transcripts until the beginning of September, so we encourage students to request these immediately after the fall semester begins. Don’t wait until the guidance office is facing a backlog!
Recommendation Letter Requirements for Colleges
You are responsible for asking your teachers to write letters, as well as for making sure they are delivered to the appropriate schools on time. This includes asking your guidance counselor to write any letters that he/she may be responsible for. Many high schools have specific guidelines and timeframes for recommendation letters. In general, you should give teachers 3-4 weeks to write a letter. Most teachers will want some type of information (or “brag” sheet) that will help guide their letter writing.
The most important piece of advice is this: follow your high school's procedures. If the instructions seem unclear at all, call the high school guidance department to get more information. Many high schools will not send recs until both the parent and the student have completed a brag sheet.
In general, most students need two teacher recs. Ideally, the recs are from junior year, with one from math or science and one from history or English. It's the student's responsibility to ask for the rec and to follow up with the teacher on the rec. Most teachers require 3-4 weeks to complete recs. There will likely be some colleges on your student's list that only want one rec (or possibly none). We typically suggest that, for the sake of ease, you send all recs to all schools.
FOR UT Austin: You can only submit two letters of rec, and they should provide additional evidence for your first choice major. A few examples might be: an internship supervisor; a teacher from a related subject; a summer program teacher/professor; a teacher, professor, or any other person that supervised student research; or a supervisor from your job. Please note: most other colleges prefer teacher recs (see above).
Sending Test Scores
Once you are done taking standardized tests, you can go ahead and send your best test scores to the colleges. Remember that you MUST send the test scores by the application deadline for each college.
You must order scores online directly through the College Board or the ACT websites--again, watch your deadlines!
AP Scores to colleges
Students are not required to send official score reports from Advanced Placement tests to colleges. Advanced Placement scores may be listed in the Common App, but are not required.