Applying to College

Online Applications

Apply online using these sites:

You will need to create an account, so save your logins and passwords where you will be able to find them. Communication from colleges about the status of your application will come through email, so use an account that you check regularly.

CommonApplication & ApplyTexas Essay Prompts

Get a head start on your college application essays by writing rough drafts over the summer.

COLLEGE TIPS: Watch 2-minute videos on various college admissions topics at

Recommendation Letters

Read instructions carefully to see whether or not your college wants letters of recommendation, how many they want, and who they want to write those letters (counselor, teacher, etc). Generally, Texas public colleges and universities do not need counselor recommendations. Private institutions and colleges/universities found outside of Texas are more likely to want a counselor recommendation. When a letter is optional, consider asking for a letter from someone who leads a program you participate in, an employer, etc.

It is polite to ASK someone first if they will write a letter for you. Once they've agreed, be sure to give your recommenders 2-3 weeks notice before your letter is due. Writing a good letter takes time. You will also need to request a teacher letter in Parchment so your teacher can send it electronically; you can find a short video explaining how to do this on the PHS Counselor's Canvas home page on the tab labeled "Files"


We ask that BOTH students and parents fill out a separate questionnaire to help us learn more about you and enable us to write a more meaningful letter.

Please type responses to ensure legibility and email the forms to your counselor.


Teacher recommendations are meant to give the college insight into the kind of scholar you can be. Be sure to select teachers who know you and have something insightful and meaningful to share.