How to Apply to College

Submitting College Applications

  • Most students submit their college applications ONLINE through the college's website. It is VERY important that students read the directions for this process carefully. Students should also frequently check their email after applying, as colleges frequently communicate with applicants through email.

  • Some colleges also accept what is called the Common Application. The Common App allows students to complete their basic personal information just one time and submit it to multiple colleges.

  • Many colleges require application fees when a student applies for admission. If you received a Fee Waiver from the Counseling Office when you took the SAT or ACT, see your counselor to find out if you can also have your college application fees waived!

  • Colleges and post-secondary schools will ask you to send them your official high school transcript. Central York High School students and graduates must register with Parchment to have their transcripts sent. Request your Transcript
    from Parchment - Leader in eTranscript ExchangeStudents must also have a pink Consent to Release Transcript form on file in the guidance office before transcripts can be sent. Click the button on the right to access Parchment. 


  1. Students who apply to Penn State do NOT need to use Parchment to request that their transcript is sent to PSU. This is done by the CYHS Counseling Office automatically through Penn State's Web Counselor System. 
  2. Students who use the Common App to apply to multiple colleges should NOT order their transcripts to be sent to each of those colleges through Parchment. INSTEAD, these students should order their transcript to be sent to the Common App, which will ensure that it goes to all of those colleges.

  • Many colleges require letters of recommendation when students apply. Students should seek these letters from adults who know them well, such as teachers, coaches, and club sponsors. Students should ask these teachers if they will write letters AT LEAST THREE WEEKS before they need the letters completed. It is recommended that students give these adults the purple Request for Recommendation form that is found in the Counseling Office. It is also often helpful if the student gives these adults a listing of their activities while in high school, which they can list on the Student Resume form that is also found in the Counseling Office. If the student wants the Counseling Office to send letters of recommendation to colleges along with their transcript, the student should give these letters to the Counseling Office AT LEAST 5 DAYS before requesting their transcript in Parchment. An orange Request to Send Letter of Recommendation form should be used for this process.

    • Very often, colleges will ask students to write one or more essays to submit with their application. Students should make sure that they have several people read over their essays and make suggestions. Parents, teachers, and counselors are often very willing to help with this! (For ideas when writing the essay, see the ideas on this page:

    • Finally, did you know that there is now a "Common Black College Application"? This application allows students to apply to 35 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) at the same time for only $35. Interested students should learn more at

    If you follow all of the steps listed above, you should have successfully completed the college application process!  
    Now all you can do is wait ... and, of course, work on FINANCIAL AID!