Easy Applications


The college application process can be tricky. Between different types of application websites, guiding through Naviance, and finding the college you want to apply to, all of it can be overwhelming. But Allen High School offers a lot of resources to help guide students through the admissions process. 

“[The application process was easy] for the most part,” said senior Brendan Farley. “The transcript stuff was a little difficult trying to figure out what was sent what wasn’t when it was sent, if it was delivered, some of that stuff was a little unclear, but being able to send in my grades and everything else was fairly easy.”

However for a lot of students, the application process can be extremely confusing beyond just the transcripts. Luckily, the College and Career advisors are one of the resources students have access to. Their sole purpose is to help students throughout the process and hopefully make students’ lives a little easier. 

“So most students don’t really know what they want to do or how to get started,” said Charlotte Samuels, college and career advisor for House 400. “So what we do is start them out in Naviance, and we have them look into the colleges that they want to apply to, and the colleges that I’m applying to in Naviance,” Samuels said. 

Naviance can act as a guiding resource for all students to find their paths. The website can be daunting but the surveys, assessments, college tab, and career tab can all be used to help students navigate where they want to go or what they want to be after high school. 

“I do recommend that they go in and do the assessments,” Samuels said. “So they can kind of see their interest and what they might want to major in. A lot of the assessments will let them see what they’re good at and what major it directs them is based on their answers.”

As helpful as Naviance is, it’s not the actual application website that students have to go through. According to Samuels, most students can go through ApplyTexas, Common App or directly through the school the student is applying at. Students can locate the website of the school they’re applying to through Naviance via the college’s tab. 

“What I recommend is – depending on how many schools you have – you need to do is see what works best for you [when applying],” said Samuels. “So let’s say that school offers you a free application and so then [you] would apply to their institution because you get your application fee waived. But if they don’t, if you’re applying to other schools in Texas, I would recommend that you use ApplyTexas. What ApplyTexas will allow you to do is once you submit your application, you’re able to reuse your application again, and not have to go through the whole process.”

The process of applying for colleges and universities can be tedious and long, but students shouldn’t panic. They have plenty of time and plenty of resources to use, even if they’re completely lost.

“If you have no clue of what you’re doing, I would advise you to make an appointment with your college and career advisor,” said Samuels. “On our website, it’s under college and career and you would go to setmore and look and see who your college and career advisor is. Make an appointment and then we’ll sit down with you and go over the whole process with you.”

Beyond just the college and career advisors, a lot of helpful information can be found throughout contacting admissions counselors in the area. While this may seem like a daunting and terrifying task, these admissions counselors are here to help students get where they want to go and are willing to help answer a lot of questions. 

“The first thing I would tell a student to do is find out who your admission counselor is,” said Bradley University associate director of admissions Toni Chandler. “Just reach out to them, even if it’s a huge state school or a smaller private, like Bradley,” Chandler said. “Those people are invaluable. They’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly; and they can kind of help you avoid some of those common mistakes that people might make, clarify deadlines, or clarify what a typical admin looks like for them, or the differences between test-optional for admission and test-optional across the board. [Students could] just drop them an email and say, ‘Hey, I’m considering applying to your school, I just want to make contact and learn from them because they’re the experts on what you want’.’”

These admissions counselors can also help students find different resources in order to narrow down the search such as Big Future – a college board program that allows students to play “match.com” with colleges, according to Chandler, and find the perfect fit for them. 

“Big Future can really expose you to a lot of cool things.” said Chandler. “The schools that will come out of that match, you’ll be like, ‘oh, my gosh, I never even thought about that school,’ you know, so very good tool. The other tool that I refer students to is texasdarn.com. DARN is the Dallas Fort Worth Admissions Regional Network. And it’s people like me, [admission’s counsilors], there are about 100 regional counselors in Dallas-Fort Worth who work for schools, but are away from their campus. So me and Texas Tech, and LSU, and Auburn and Drake, and Hendrix, all these schools have reps here in Dallas. So they can find their local person if there is a local person. We have a YouTube channel with all sorts of videos, just general knowledge, and things like that.”

All of these admissions counselors and resources can help guide students into the areas they want, but ultimately Allen students have some background information on where they want to go. From a CTE course to an agriculture course, Allen prepares its students for success in college with the endorsement program.

“Allen’s tremendous advantage is just purely within the breadth of experience that you guys get to have – the TV studio and the Adobe and, things like the IB [program], the restaurant.” Said Chandler. “Just these crazy things that Allen students are just like, ‘oh, yeah, I can take AP, or dual credit, or IB.’ Very few schools have all three of those to offer.”

Despite all of this, some students may still struggle with finding just what schools to apply to. Chandler had some very simple and plain advice for anyone struggling in that regard: branch out.

“I always laugh. It’s like, there are four schools in Texas, and one of them is OU,” Chandler said. “I always encourage students: ‘no, look at a medium-sized school, or throw a private school in there. Um, you know, think about, don’t be afraid to leave Texas, don’t be afraid to go to a smaller school, don’t be afraid to try a private school’.”