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College Application Guidelines

How to Apply: General Guidelines for Applying to Colleges

General Guidelines for Applying to Colleges

So you’ve decided which colleges you want to apply or you’re totally unsure where you want to go to college. What’s your next step?

  • See Miss Sarah, Huntingdon Area High School’s college adviser. Miss Sarah is located in the Guidance Office and is available by drop-in or by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Use https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/ to search for colleges that might fit your needs.
  • Once you know where you want to apply, you can visit the college website to learn more about the college and admission/application procedures. If you don’t know the college’s web address, Google the name and city/town of the college. You should also make an appointment with Miss Sarah to help with the application process.

Application processes can be complicated and take time to complete. Make sure you have an understanding of all materials needed in order to apply. Miss Sarah can help you with this and/or you can check the website of the schools in which you are interested. Gather all the materials you need.

  • Complete the application. Some applications are completed online and some are paper applications. It depends on the college. Some colleges use what’s called a “Common Application,” which means that certain schools allow you to use one application to apply to all of them. Common Applications can be completed online or by paper. A list of Common Application schools is available in the Guidance Office.

You may need this information to complete the Common Application or regular college applications:

Secondary School: Huntingdon Area High School

School Phone: 814‐643‐2156

School Fax: 814‐643‐3800

School Address: 2400 Cassady Avenue Suite 1 Huntingdon, PA 16652


Counselor’s Name: Mrs. Melanie Snare (Last names A‐L)

Counselor’s Title: High School Counselor

Counselor’s E‐mail: msnare@huntsd.org

Counselor’s Phone: 814‐641‐2134

Counselor’s Name: Mrs. Amanda Easter (Last names M‐Z)

Counselor’s Title: High School Counselor

Counselor’s E‐mail: aeaster@huntsd.org

Counselor’s Phone: 814‐641‐2144

Special Note to students interested in applying to any of the Penn State campuses: Penn State’s application process is online. Once you complete your online application, the Guidance Office does its part online and then faxes Penn State your transcript. Most important for you to know: the Guidance Office cannot complete the online process, including faxing your transcript, until you are done with all of your part. You must complete the entire application and send payment as requested before a transcript can be faxed. Also, Penn State will only accept SAT scores sent directly from the College Board. It is your responsibility to take care of this.

  • Some colleges require teacher or counselor recommendations. Some colleges do not. The Common Application process requires recommendations from both counselors and teachers and provides forms, either online or by paper, for this purpose. If you do the Common Application, the teachers and counselors will do their part online also, but only after you’ve invited them. If you need recommendations, ask your teachers or counselor and most importantly, give them enough time to do it.
  • Following the guidelines on your college’s application or from their admissions page on their website, you should gather any other materials they require. This can sometimes be a special form for the counselor to complete, an application fee, an essay, etc.

You should request an official transcript from the Guidance Office once you have all the materials you need to apply. Please allow at least five working days from the date you request the transcript until the time it is mailed or postmarked. Official transcript request forms are available in the Guidance Office. Complete the form and give it to the Guidance secretary or any of the counselors, along with everything you want sent with it. It is your responsibility to determine what you need to send with your transcript by contacting the school you’re applying to or checking their website.

After the transcript and materials are sent, be patient. You need to allow time for the mail to reach the college. Once the transcript is received by the college, it takes the admissions office time to process it and have it noted in their own system. Each college is different. If you are concerned about your application, call the college to check on the status. Some colleges may have an online system where you can check. If you feel it’s taking too long: Don’t panic. Just take reasonable steps to follow up.


College deadlines are not like high school deadlines. You won’t get a few extra days because you were sick or because school was cancelled due to bad weather. Take into consideration what you need from others and give them enough time to do their part. And seek help from Miss Sarah whenever you need it.