Applying to College

  • Senior Meetings:  We host meetings with our seniors early in the fall to discuss planning, applying, and paying for college.

    College Application Week:  CFNC sponsors NC Countdown to College every year in October, which includes College Application Week, when there will be programming at CHS to help students complete and submit applications for NC Residency, the FAFSA, and college applications.  Many NC colleges waive application fees during this week.  This is a great chance to get started on or continue with your college applications.

    Undocumented students should see their school counselor to further discuss college and career options.

    Curious, or searching for tips, about how to submit the best application possible?  Check out UNC-CH's advice from a team of admissions counselors, which answers common questions about anything from your essay, to letters of recommendation, to extracurriculars, to what makes your application stand out, and more!


    Common App, Coalition App, CFNC, Proprietary School Applications, and Naviance

    There are a variety of ways students across the country can apply to 2- and 4-yr schools.

    Common App and Coalition App are options at many 4-yr schools nationwide.  CFNC is an option for any 2- or 4-yr school in NC.  Many 2- and 4-yr schools have their own application linked through their website.  Some can be applied to using multiple of these options.

    Naviance is a separate system through which transcripts and letters of recommendation must be submitted (although CFNC can submit transcripts to in-state schools), in addition to completing other parts of applications through the mediums listed above.  It also provides a lot of career and college planning information and tools.

    Regardless of how you apply, remember that you must complete our electronic transcript request form (each year, information about the updated form/process is emailed out and linked from the front page of our section of the school website) first for schools to be added to your Naviance account by Ms. Brooks so that you can request teacher recommendations.  Transcripts for college applications are usually $5, while transcripts for scholarship applications are usually free of charge.  If the $5 charge is a burden to your family, please discuss with your counselor.

    • Make sure to notify teachers before you request recommendations through Naviance.  Give teachers (and counselors) as much notice as possible - at least several weeks' notice is preferred.
    • If you want a teacher’s letter of recommendation to be sent to a specific school, you will be able to select the specific school(s).  Remember, you must first submit an electronic Transcript Request Form in order for Ms. Brooks to add schools to your Naviance account.
    • If you have a recommender that is outside of CHS, please submit that request directly through Common App.  For non-Common-App schools with a recommender outside of CHS, you or your recommender will need to provide the recommendation directly.
    • Once the electronic Transcript Request Form is completed and turned in, it will be given to the counselor to complete the counselor recommendation portion. Once complete, the counselor will submit all documents to college(s) through Naviance.

    NC Residency Determination Service (RDS)

    Students applying to in-state schools will need to complete the RDS at, to verify residency for in-state tuition and financial aid programs. If you struggle with the RDS system, then you might look at the Alternate Account Creation steps here. Many thanks to Class of 2025's Lillian Brumback for taking the time to put this together!

    Read the Fine Print

    However you apply to college, be sure to read all applications very thoroughly.  Pay attention to binding Early Decision vs. non-binding Early Action, when considering Early Notification options.  Wondering about early notification options?  Speak with your counselor.

    Along with the rest of the application, be sure to submit any supplemental materials - be they essays or personal statements, recommendations, school report forms, counselor statements, or something else.  ALWAYS double-check, on the school's website, the checklist or requirements listed in their application procedures or application materials.


    College Application Fee Waivers

    ***If you have used a fee waiver when registering for the SAT or ACT, then you could be eligible for college application fee waivers.  More information on testing fee waivers is available in our College and Career Readiness Tests section, and you can see your school counselor to inquire about a college application fee waiver.***


    College Redirection Service

    If it gets to be late in the college application season (later in the spring) and you still have not received good news from the college you were hoping for, CFNC offers a College Redirection Service - a service matching denied or late applicants and others with colleges still admitting students.