Steps to Apply to College, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Step One:  Fill out the college application online.

2019 Michigan College Application Details

  • Click the above link for a list of every Michigan college, application links, application cost, average SAT, average GPA, whether or not they accept the common app, etc.
  • If the college/university is not listed, search for the online application on the internet.  

Step Two:  Did you apply using the Common App?  If yes, Match you Common App to Naviance.  If no, skip this step.

You MUST match your Common App to your Naviance account using the following steps:

  1. Create a Common App account at Common App Online.
  2. Sign the Common App (CA) FERPA Waiver at Common App Online.
  3. Log into your Naviance account.
  4. Click on "Colleges I'm Applying To".
  5. Click on "MATCH ACCOUNTS" at the top of the page. 
  6. Enter in your Common App email address.
  7. Verify your date of birth.
  8. Click on "Match Accounts" 


Step Three:  Request letters of recommendation, if required.

To request a letter of recommendation from a school employee, you must do the following:

  1. Log into your Naviance account.
  2. Click on "Colleges I'm Applying To".
  3. Scroll down and click on the "letters of recommendation section" link.
  4. Click on "Add Request" and add teachers who you think will best represent your ability level and character to the colleges you are applying to.
  5. Talk to those teachers in person to make sure they know what your deadline is.
  6. Submit a resume or brag sheet to those teachers.


Step Four:  Request your transcript.

All colleges require a transcript for the college application to be complete.  To request your transcript, you must do the following:

  1. Log into your Naviance account.
  2. Click on "Colleges I'm Applying To"
  3. Click on the red plus sign at the top of the page.
  4. Make your selections from all 3 drop-down boxes:  Which college are you applying to?, App type, and I'll submit my application--be sure to choose from Via Common App or Direct to the Institution.  Do NOT leave "I'm not sure yet" as your selection.
  5. Click on "Add and Request Transcript"
  6. Click on "Initial", "Unofficial SAT scores", then "Request and Finish".
  7. Make sure that if you applied using the Common App, the "CA" symbol is listed next to those colleges in your list.


Step Five:  Send your "Official SAT Scores"

If a college requires "official" SAT scores, you must send them through your college board account.  Visit to send those.  You may sign up to retake the SAT through this website, as well.


Step Six:  Paying the Application Fee

Your application fee must be paid for your application to be considered complete.

Free/Reduced Lunch?

If you receive free/reduced lunch, you can request up to 4 fee waivers from your school counselor.  Visit the LHS counseling office to request those from your school counselor.

College Month Fee Waiver Information


  • Click here for a list of Institutions Waiving Fees for 2019 Michigan College Month.
  • Many colleges have free online applications year-round.
  • October Fee Waiver Information:
    • Wayne State University -- use fee waiver code MCAW2020
    • Saginaw Valley State University -- use fee waiver code MCAN
    • Baker College -- fee is automatically waived at the end of the application
    • Central Michigan University -- select "pay later" at the end of the application, and the fee will automatically be waived in October.  If you are applying with the Common App, use FireUp2020 in the fee waiver code section.
    • Eastern Michigan University -- apply for free with the select scholars website.

Click here for a list of all Michigan College Application Fees.


Step Seven:  NCAA and NAIA Eligibility for Student Athletes

Division I

Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at

Division II

Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at

Division III

You do NOT need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.


Register with the NAIA Eligibility Center at  

NAIA students MUST request that a transcript be sent through their NAIA Eligibility Center account at the end of the year.


Step Eight:  Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)


You can start completing the FAFSA on October 1.

A FAFSA Filing Event will be held at LHS on November 7 from 6 - 8 pm.  Bring your parents to get help from LHS and EMU staff to complete your FAFSA no matter what college you plan to attend.

The priority deadline for Michigan students is March 1.

Steps to Complete FAFSA


  1. Collect the information and documents you need to complete the FAFSA.
  2. Set up an FSA ID for yourself.  Have one parent set up an FSA ID for themselves.
  3. Complete the FAFSA with a parent.
  4. The FAFSA needs to be completed every year.

Types of Financial Aid


  • Grants and Scholarships—financial aid that doesn't have to be repaid.  Grants are usually based on income and scholarships are usually based on achievement.
  • Work-study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school
  • Loans—borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest.  Federal loans and Parent loans are available with the FAFSA and are usually lower interest than other private loans.

Reasons to Fill Out the FAFSA


  • This is how you figure out if you qualify for free money for college--federal and state grants and scholarships and work study.
  • This is how you qualify for low interest federal student and parent loans.
  • Every family who has an income below $250,000 qualifies for some type of aid.
  • Every year students leave billions of dollars in financial aid unclaimed.
  • There is some aid that is not based on income, but you still must complete the FAFSA to qualify for.
  • You will want to have a FAFSA on file in case your family's financial situation changes.
  • Some colleges take your application more seriously if they see their name listed as a college on your FAFSA application.


Step Nine:  Research Scholarships

There are several different places you can look for scholarships.

  1. Research "Scholarships for Incoming Freshmen" at the college you plan to attend.  Often these scholarships are automatic if you meet the criteria.  Some you will need to attend a scholarship competition to receive.
  2. Research "Private Scholarships" at the college you plan to attend.
  3. Research national scholarships using some of the scholarship search engines listed on our Scholarship Website.
  4. Research Michigan grants and scholarship programs.
  5. Check out the Local Scholarships listed on our Scholarship Website.  Most of them become available in the late winter/early spring.  Check this website often and pay attention to announcements.