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College Corner

College Visit Sign Up Schedule


College Resources

ACT Online Information and Registration: Register to take the ACT, find test dates and locations, test question samples

College Board: Use this site to easily narrow your college search, research colleges and compare options. Includes in-depth information about all two-year and four-year colleges in the United States plus the complete text of The College Handbook

College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students: Designed to provide assistance to high school counselors and other individuals who work with undocumented students

College Data: Research an abundance of college data and predict your chances of admissions

College Navigator: Be an informed consumer! Research statistical information on colleges and careers

College Zone: College information and the official website of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Education Planner: A great resource for everything related to college and/or careers

Fair Test: Use this site to find a list of school that de-emphasize the use of standardized tests in the admission process

iTRANSFER: A portal for transfer assistance in the state of Illinois for students seeking transfer between Illinois higher education institutions

National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC): Resources for students and parents to help transition from high school to college. Advice on preparing, searching, applying, paying, and succeeding in college

Peterson's Education Center: College database.

The Princeton Review: Advice and information on researching, applying, and going to college

How to start the college application process

1. Finalize your list of schools. Research colleges and make a list of those to which you will apply. Aim on applying to 5-7 schools.

2. Find out what each college requires. These are examples of what may be needed:

  • Online Application: Does the school have their own or will you be using the Common Application?
  • Personal Statement/Essay
  • Letters of Recommendation: Each school will want something different.
  • Official ACT scores: Will your school take the score off your transcript or does it need to be official?
  • Official Transcripts: You will need to request that your transcripts be sent to all of the schools to which you are applying.
  • Supplemental Materials: It is your job to see if the school requires anything extra. This may include art/music portfolios, extra letters of recommendation, additional essays/personal statements, etc. 

3. Do I need essays?

Check with the colleges to see if they require an essay/personal statement. Start working on your essay now if you need to submit one. Keep revising it until it is your best work. 

4. How do I send my scores?

Some colleges will take your ACT score off your transcript. Others want your scores to be sent directly from ACT. If this is the case, request that your official test scores be sent directly to your colleges. Do this online on

5. How do I send my transcripts to colleges?

  • Complete the Transcript Release Form at least two weeks before the application deadline and have your parent/guardian sign (if under 18)
  • Submit the form to your counselor in Student Services.

6. How do I get college recommendations?

Counselor Recommendation: Recommendation request forms are found in the counselor's office. Return the completed form to your counselor. Copies can be made to share with your teachers. Please turn in the completed form 2 weeks prior to the due date. 

Teacher Recommendation: Speak to your teacher well in advance of the needed recommendation. You may need one-two recommendations depending on the school. 

7. What about Financial Aid? 

Whether you are planning on going to a four-year college or Triton, you will fill out the FAFSA. Attend our financial aid information session in English or Spanish with your parents/guardians at Leyden. The FASFAFEST will take place is to TBD. Join us for a presentation followed by step-by-step instructions in English and Spanish to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA). 

8. How do I keep track of everything?

Use Naviance! You may input all the colleges to which you are applying to manage deadlines and have institution-specific information.  

 9. Are you applying to Triton College?