Applying to College



Essay Writing is required for some colleges and scholarship committees. offers some great tips in regards to strategies, topics, and helpful tips to make sure you are writing an essay to the best of your abilities.



  1. Go to official college websites and complete college/scholarship application.
  2. Fill out Burke High School's blue College/Scholarship Processing Form, and return all the appropriate paperwork to the secretary in the guidance office. 

If materials need to be mailed, students must provide an envelope, correct mailing address, and enough postage for all materials that will be sent to the school or scholarship committee.  If the college or scholarship requires an official transcript, there is a $2 processing fee.  The student must fill out this information and personally bring this sheet into guidance and hand it to the guidance secretary.  Because we may need to follow up with additional questions and information, we will not accept these sheets sent through the mail. 



The Common Application is an organization over 500 colleges and universities from all over the country. It was originally created to use the same standardized application at any of the member institutions. Membership is limited to colleges and universities that evaluate students using a holistic selection process. To find out which institutions use the Common Application visit


The Common Black Application allows students to apply to dozens of black colleges at once and pay a one time fee.  The use of the EDU, Inc. Online Application increases educational options by allowing students to receive acceptance letters, financial aid packages, and scholarship offers from several different colleges. To find out which institutions use the Common Black Application,



Students are requested to complete a Teacher Recommendation Request Form to assist teachers in writing effective letters of recommendation.  This form (found in the Counseling Center, the above Post-secondary Planning Guide, and on Naviance Family Connection) serves to assist teachers in writing a letter on a student's behalf.  Seniors are encouraged to ask a staff member for a positive letter of recommendation if such a document is needed for college admission or a scholarship application.  Students should give 3 or 4 weeks (minimum) of advance notice to ensure that their teacher has enough time to write a quality letter.  Once the teacher completes the letter of recommendation, he or she will upload the document to Naviance Succeed where it is stored and made accessible to a school counselor.  Students request this task through Naviance Family Connection under “Colleges I’m Applying To” -- this action gives a teacher the ability to upload the letter.  Depending on the college or scholarship application, it may be necessary provide a copy of a letter of recommendation to the Counseling Department.  A letter will be placed in a student's Senior Application File and will be available for later use.  If a student needs a copy sent directly to a college or scholarship committee from a teacher recommended, please provide the teacher with a stamped, addressed envelope and alert the assigned counselor that the teacher will be mailing the letter of recommendation instead.




Senior College Planning Guide is a resource that students receive each fall in their senior English class. This is a comprehensive handbook that serves to explain the different steps and procedures in the college and scholarship application process.  Seniors and families are encouraged to consult this planning guide frequently this year as they seek information on college admissions, financial aid, college resources, and NCAA and/or NAIA eligibility.  This document is also located in the 'document library' on Family Connection.



All seniors receive a transcript/recommendation waiver/consent form when counselors visit their senior English class during first semester. Additional forms are available in the Counseling Center or on Naviance Family Connection.  This transcript waiver/consent form needs to be completed in compliance with federal FERPA law, and kept on file in the Counseling Center. The transcript release form must be signed by students and parents giving Burke High School permission to release transcripts and letters of recommendation to colleges, universities, or scholarship committees.  The aforementioned waiver/consent form must be on file in the Counseling Center before student documents may be sent to outside institutions or organizations.



The College Funding Estimator is a helpful resource from EducationQuest's website that can help families predict whether a student qualifies for a federal Pell Grant through the U.S. Department of Education.   The funding estimator serves to estimate one's expected family contribution (EFC), a statistic that colleges and universities look at when establishing a financial aid package.  In addition, there are some need-based scholarships distributed by the Burke Scholarship Committee that require a documented EFC.  The Burke High Scholarship Application (made available in December) requires a completed College Funding Estimator as part of the application process.




College Comparison Worksheets give students an opportunity to research specific categories of different schools and compare them next to each other to see which one is the best fit for them. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has developed an excellent resource to be able to compare several categories among three different schools.


Counseling Menu

The Burke Way
Advanced Education
Researching Colleges
Applying to College
Vocational Schools
Financial Aid
First Generation and Underserved
College Athletics
ACT Test Prep