This document is intended to outline the process for applying to college. It includes a breakdown, month-by-month of the tasks and deadlines you should be completing. Some of the tasks vary depending on the colleges you will be applying to. For example, not all schools require SAT scores. Some schools do not require a personal statement.

Note: All seniors at Davis A&M are expected to apply to a college. This is a mandatory component of being a student here.

Choosing where to apply: Creating a “College List” of all the schools you are applying to is one of the first steps of the process. Depending on your grades and SAT scores, some schools will be easy to get into, and some schools will be difficult. It is important that you apply to a variety of schools.

Safety Schools – Colleges to which you are almost guaranteed to be accepted. GPA more than .5 above min requirement, SAT score at least 150 points above minimum. You should plan to apply to at 2-3 safety schools.

Match Schools – Colleges that you will most likely be admitted to.  GPA should be within .2 points of the min requirement, SAT with 80 points of min requirement.  You should plan to apply to 2-3 match schools.

Reach Schools – Colleges that you will most likely not be admitted to, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply.  GPA should be no lower than .3 points below minimum requirement, SAT not more than 80 points below minimum requirement.  You should plan to apply to 1-2 reach schools.

Taking the SAT: Many schools are not requiring the SAT this year, however a strong score may still increase your chances of acceptance.  You are encouraged to retake the SAT in the fall of Senior year to raise your score. IMPACT is an 8 week SAT prep program that pays students who complete all study sessions. Contact Mr. Markusic for more info.

Writing a Personal Statement: A personal statement is an opportunity for you to tell colleges your unique story.  You should choose one of the Common Application Prompts that you think allows you to demonstrate an example of a strength

Request Recommendation Letters: Many colleges require recommendation letters from your teachers. The best choice for who to ask is your Crew Advisor and two other teachers who can speak to your strengths as a student.  Make your requests as early as possible, and inform your Crew Advisor and Mr. McCain which teachers have agreed to write them.

Apply to Tri-C: Cleveland students are luck to live close to one of the strongest community colleges in the area.  Tri-C offers both degrees and certificates at very reasonable tuition. All Davis students should apply to Tri-C, even as a backup for students who’s first choice is to attend a school outside of Cleveland.

Complete the Common Application: The Common Application is a single application that is accepted by most schools in Ohio and across the country. Using the Common App allows you to use a single application for multiple schools rather than completing separate applications.

Apply to additional schools (optional): Some schools do not accept the Common Application.  Make sure you are aware of which colleges on your list require their own applications, or supplemental components in addition to the common app.

Complete the FAFSA:  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that is required for anyone who plans to receive scholarships or take out student loans.  All Davis students will fill this form out.  Davis staff will support families with completion.

Complete Say Yes to Education Application:  Say Yes to Education provides full college tuition to students who live in Cleveland.  All Davis students will complete the application to be eligible for this scholarship.

Senior Year College Checklist:


  • Begin Personal Statement and share with Advisor/McCain/Markusic
  • Develop/finalize your College Application List
  • Identify Early Action Deadlines
  • Share application deadlines with your Crew Advisor
  • Begin Common Application (
  • Request Recommendation Letters
  • Register and study for the SAT
  • Visit Colleges you want to apply to
  • Complete Common Application
  • Create your FSA ID (
  • Refine your personal statement
  • Complete Applications due November 15th (i.e. Ohio State)
  • Research Scholarships and begin drafts of personal statements for scholarships


  • Finalize College List by November 15
  • Submit early action applications by November 1.
  • Register for December SAT
  • Make an appointment with Mr. Markusic or Mr. McCain to strengthen/refine your applications
  • Revise your personal statement with feedback from advisor/counselor
  • Contact Mr. Markusic regarding application fee waivers
  • File your FAFSA 


  • Verify with Mr. Markusic that your FAFSA has been processed successfully
  • Contact Admissions offices and verify that your applications have been received (Early Action only)
  • Finalize Personal Statement
  • Submit all applications by December 18
  • Continue to apply for scholarships


  • Complete applications for schools with late deadlines
  • Contact Admissions offices and verify that your applications have been received
  • Continue to submit additional admissions applications
  • Complete Say Yes to Education Application
  • Make a Scholarships appointment with Mr. Markusic
  • Inform your Crew Advisor when you receive college decisions


  • Arrange for a visit to college at which you have been accepted
  • Compare final Financial Aid Award Letters and work with Mr. Markusic to help you NEGOTIATE with colleges for increased aid
  • Continue to apply for scholarships


  • May 1st: Housing and matriculation deposits are due
  • Verify Mr. McCain has sent in final transcripts
  • Confirm College Decision with Say Yes to Education
  • Register and attend a Freshman Orientation
  • Submit final scholarship applications
  • Make an “Exit Appointment” with Mr. Markusic to verify all steps are completed