Student Life » College Office

College Office

Welcome to the College Office

Please use the tabs to the left to navigate and find all the most useful information for applying to College, finding scholarships, and many more opportunities!
Please feel free to reach out to the College Office Staff at:
Lisset Marin - [email protected]
Meaghan DeCrisoforo - [email protected]
Kim Bellico-Cohen [email protected]

Application for College

Video - Matching Common App to Naviance

Students once you have done the following:
  1. completed the education section on common app
  2. added at least one college to the application
  3. completed the FERPA--see video
You can then go to Naviance, click on “colleges”, colleges I’m applying to, find the banner that says Match. see video on naviance student account matching
The Match is straightforward,
  1. You will write the email address that you use to log into your common app in the slot provided.
  2. All of the colleges on listed on your common application will then load to Naviance.
If you did not apply to the college on common app, it is straightforward as well. For non-common app colleges, click on the PLUS+ sign under "colleges i'm applying to" and lookup and add the college.
Once that is complete, please send your RSD form to Mrs.DeCristoforo at [email protected] Mrs.DeCristoforo will send your transcript and letters of recommendation to your colleges.

Video - Completing the FERPA on Common App

Please Note: Once you have completed the FERPA on Common App, you will not have to invite Recommenders.
Curtis High School is using Naviance for transcripts, school reports, and teacher recommendations.
Please contact us in the College Office by sending an RSD- Request for School Documents to [email protected]
We will send your transcript, school report and recommendations through Naviance.

COMMON APPLICATION - Education Section

Use the information below to help you complete the Education section in the Common App
Class of 2022
  1. Graduating Class Size =
  2. Class Rank reporting = Exact
  3. Class Rank = Please check Naviance for your class Rank (see instructions)
  4. Rank weighting = Weighted
  5. GPA Scale reporting = 100
  6. Cumulative GPA = Please check Naviance for your cumulative GPA
  7. GPA weighting = Weighted

How to Create a CommonApp.Org Account

Please view the video: Creating a common app first year account


Naviance is how the College Office send your school documents to the colleges you apply to.
You must list all the schools on your Naviance account that you are applying to.
Naviance is also where you request your teachers for a letter of recommendation.

If you need a Naviance account or password reset, please see Mrs. DeCristoforo in the college office.


Special Program at SUNY -- EOP Educational Opportunity Program

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) The State University of New York's Educational Opportunity Program provides access, academic support and financial aid to students who show promise for succeeding in college but who may not have otherwise been offered admission. Available primarily to full-time, matriculated students, the program supports students throughout their college careers within the University.
This information will assist you in determining if you should apply to SUNY through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). You are encouraged to discuss your college choices with your college advisor. EOP is designed for students who need special academic assistance as well as financial aid. You will be asked to complete additional application materials and financial aid forms by the colleges to which you are applying. Be sure to complete any materials and return promptly as directed.
Note: Applicants deemed ineligible for EOP may still qualify for admission and financial aid through other admission processes.

HEOP at Columbia University

Columbia University's commitment to making education accessible and affordable is longstanding. For decades, the University has supported high-achieving, low-income students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering through the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Educational Opportunity Program (HEOP) and our own National Opportunity Program (NOP).
Competitive candidates for HEOP/NOP excel academically, actively participate in their community, demonstrate intellectual curiosity and show that they will especially benefit from additional support services. HEOP students must also meet financial guidelines set by New York State. We find that the strongest HEOP/NOP applicants can articulate their fit for the distinctive Columbia experience, which includes the fundamental Core Curriculum, a both traditionally collegiate and unmistakably urban campus life, and a place where curious thinkers come to grow. We work closely with Columbia’s Academic Success Programs to provide a holistic approach to student development which includes:
  • Financial Aid: Though most HEOP/NOP students graduate in four years, they are eligible for up to five years of full need-based financial aid for tuition, room and meals. Our need-based aid is in the form of grants; loans are not used to meet financial need. A textbook stipend is awarded to students every semester until graduation.
  • Summer Bridge Program: HEOP/NOP students participate in a required five-week academic program that prepares participants for college-level courses in the areas of critical reading and analysis, formal writing, laboratory science and mathematics. Students engage evenings and weekends in team-building exercises to foster personal development and a sense of community.
  • Advising and Tutoring: Columbia’s Berick Center for Student Advising assigns all students individual advisers who work with them closely throughout their time at Columbia to set and reach their academic goals. Students also have access to staff across the university, including the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, the Center for Career Education and faculty advisers in academic departments. Additionally, HEOP/NOP students are assigned peer mentors, who provide both individualized and group tutoring services and counseling on topics such as career exploration and financial independence. Many HEOP/NOP students also participate in the Center for Student Advising’s First in Family programs, a set of workshops, support and mentoring open to all Columbia students who are first-generation college students.
There is no separate application for consideration for either program.


The Dream Act Scholarship

DREAMers are undocumented immigrant youth who came to this country at a young age. For many, it’s the only country they’ve ever known. There are now 1.8 million DREAMers living in the U.S. 98,000 graduate from high school every year–wanting more than anything to get a college education and help their families and communities prosper.
Their National Scholarship as the “Pell Grant” for highly motivated DREAMers with significant, unmet financial need. While they consider your GPA and test scores, they also place great emphasis on your demonstrated commitment to community service and your ability to overcome the barriers and challenges that DREAMers face each and every day.
New Round Open NOW until Feb 25, 2021 TheDream.US has adopted new immigration eligibility criteria! You are now eligible to apply if you came to the country before November 1, 2015.

Gap Year Fairs

From Nov 30, 2020 - March 31, 2021, USA Gap Year Fairs is hosting 40 virtual events to connect students, families, and counselors with the most up to date information about gap year options and summer opportunities in 2021. As our 14th year of offering free educational events, they are excited to make this information even more accessible this year by embracing a virtual format.
Plus, this year, they'll be announcing over $10,000+ in scholarships, so be sure to share this link with your school's community, especially those aiming to take gap time in 2021! Join students and families from your neighborhood at a virtual gap year event tailored to your local community. In addition to offering events across multiple time zones they will ensure that the gap year counselors, programs, and alumni will come prepared to meet the needs of your region. Visit Go Overseas for more information.

Scholarship Plus

Scholarship Plus offers such students a four-year college scholarship PLUS individualized support. The scholarship may be used to pay tuition, room and board, fees and other educational expenses. Each scholarship will be renewable annually for up to four years of study as long as the student maintains a good academic record and makes standard progress toward a degree.
Scholarship Plus also provides each student the PLUS: a paid internship, mentoring, a college transition workshop, academic and personal support, and an ongoing close-knit community.
For more info and how to apply -- 2020-21 Scholarship Plus App Info.pdf
  • NYC high school seniors graduating in Spring 2021Strong GPA (85% or higher)
  • Significant financial need (family income up to $50k)
  • Experience in facing adversity
  • Preference will be given to students whose parents have not graduated from American 4-year colleges/universities
  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Deadline: January 20, 2021

Christmas Break-Scholarships

Over the Christmas Break there are quite a few good scholarships that students usually miss out on. The Student Scholarships website has created a newsletter that focuses on some of the bigger scholarships that are accepting applications over this time period. Attached is the Scholarship Newsletter in a PDF. The deadlines range from December 31st - February 1st.

New York Chapter of Continental Societies Scholarship

New York Chapter of Continental Societies will be offering scholarships in 2021 for graduating high school seniors. I have attached the information sheet and application form. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2021.
Although the Continentals have a PO Box, I strongly recommend that students email the application to [email protected]
Moreover, I recommend emailing the application in the following order, which will serve as a kind of checklist:
  1. Photograph.
  2. Application.
  3. Letter of Acceptance to a college.
  4. Letter from Guidance Counselor stating that student is on track for graduation, as well as his/her GPA.
  5. Student Transcript.
  6. Test Results, e.g., SAT, ACT.
  7. Essay.
  8. Three letters of recommendation.
  9. Resume.

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship

The Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship application is now available.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides four-year scholarships of $30,000 and extensive support services, including career guidance and internship placement, to highly motivated African American students who have maintained a 98% college graduation rate.
The application closes at 5:00 pm ET on February 1, 2021.

The Visa Black Scholars and Jobs Program

The Visa Black Scholars and Jobs Program, in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), is a new program designed for college-bound Black and African American students in the United States. Eligible high school seniors applying or intending to enroll as a full-time undergraduate in any four-year accredited college or university in the U.S. can receive a needs-based scholarship grant of up to $20,000/year. Scholars who continue to meet the criteria, remain in good standing and maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA will be eligible for annual renewals. Upon graduation, all scholarship recipients who have met their commitments will be guaranteed a full-time job with Visa. The establishment of this program is aligned with Visa’s commitment to cultivate an inclusive and diverse workplace that supports the development and advancement of all.

Albert Shanker College Scholarship Fund of the United Federation of Teachers

Each year, the United Federation of Teachers awards $1 million in undergraduate and graduate scholarships to academically excellent and financially eligible students from New York City public schools. Scholarship winners are living proof that excellence can thrive in New York City schools. Their hard work — and the dedication of all the educators who worked with them — enable them to achieve academic distinction.
Visit the website and download the attached application and instructions

Scholarship Plus

The Scholarship Plus award is a scholarship and community for New York City students who have demonstrated strong academic achievement in the face of significant obstacles. Scholarship Plus offers such students a competitive four-year scholarship PLUS individualized, wraparound support.
The scholarship may be used to pay tuition, room and board, fees, and other educational expenses. Each scholarship will be renewable annually for up to four years of study as long as the student maintains a good academic record and makes standard progress toward a degree.
  • Applicants must be current high school seniors who attend public, parochial or private schools in New York City, and have demonstrated:
  • Strong academic achievement (85% or higher G.P.A.)
  • Significant financial need (family income less than $50,000)
  • Faced great adversity
  • Willingness to engage with the Scholarship Plus community in occasional events, workshops and semester check-ins
Preference will be given to students whose parents have not graduated from American four-year colleges or universities.
Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
More information about Scholarship Plus and a link to the application can be found on their site: Scholarship Plus. Applications must be submitted online by January 20, 2021.
Attached is a printable flyer describing the selection criteria and application steps in detail.


APIA Scholars offers a range of scholarships to support APIA students. See below to learn more about the requirements and to get started on your application!
ABOUT THE APIA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM Scholarship awards range from one-time $2,500 awards to multi-year $20,000 awards. APIA Scholars provides scholarships to underserved APIA students with a special focus on those who:
  • Live at or below the poverty level, or are otherwise of low socioeconomic status;
  • Are the first in their families to attend college;
  • Are representative of the APIA community’s diversity, (geographically and ethnically}, especially those ethnicities that have been underrepresented on college campuses due to limited access and opportunity; and
  • Have placed a strong emphasis on community service and leadership as well as solid academic achievement.
The APIA Scholarship Program application must be completed online and submitted electronically once all of the required questions have been answered. You do not have to complete the online application in one sitting. Until you are ready to submit, you may access your application and edit your answers as many times as you like with your login from any computer with internet access. The application will be available for the 2021-2022 academic year from September 9, 2020 until January 14, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST.
If you need some tips on helping you prepare to apply, please check out our Applicant Resources.
  • Be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity as defined by the U.S. Census
  • Be a citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the United States. Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are also eligible to apply
  • Be enrolling as an undergraduate student in a U.S. accredited college or university in the Fall of 2021.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED
  • Must apply for federal financial aid for the 2021-2022 academic year using the Free Application for the Federal Student Aid (FASFA) by early April 2021
  • Submit one letter of recommendation online

Letters of Recommendation


A brag sheet is exactly what it sounds like. It's an opportunity for you to brag about your accomplishments thus far, like a casual resume. Teachers and counselors writing recommendations often ask for brag sheets from the student so they have a better idea of what to include, like interests and accomplishments.
The best time to ask for college recommendations is in the spring of your junior year. Most people ask in the fall of senior year, so asking in spring will help you beat the rush. Have your brag sheet ready when you ask. Your recommender might take it home and work on it (or at least think about it) over the summer, meaning they can focus more on your recommendation and spend more time on it. Not all teachers will do this (they deserve a vacation too!), but having your brag sheet ready this early means it will be a possibility. If you prepare your brag sheet in spring, make sure to include any summer plans or confirmed fall roles (for instance, if you win an election in the spring for the following year) so their recommendation isn’t already outdated when you return in the fall.

College Essay

Supplemental Essays How to Combine Your College Essay Prompts (To Save 20+ Writing Hours)

Supplemental Essays
How to Combine Your College Essay Prompts (To Save 20+ Writing Hours)
One of the most daunting aspects of applying to college is the sheer number of essays you have to (wait, get to!) write.
What do I mean? Say you’re applying to eight to ten schools. Each has anywhere from one to five (hi, MIT!) supplemental essays. Quick math tells us that’s between eight and fifty college essay prompts to respond to. And that’s after you write the Personal Statement for your Common App.

Common Application ( College Essay

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

College Search

Find Your Fit Tools on Naviance

This document is meant to help you understand how to search for, favorite, and research colleges of interest.
Naviance Student can help make the process of finding the right college just a little easier. Using Naviance Student’s Find your Fit search tools, you can locate the schools that most fit with your interests, passions, and criteria. Once you’ve narrowed down a group of colleges, multiple tools are available to understand more about that school in general and as a prospect.


The College Application Process
Dear Seniors: There are a countless number of websites that provide great checklists and to do list for the college application process. This is Curtis High School's first steps on our checklist:
  1. Fill out a Brag sheet for your Teacher(s) and Counselor-- POSTED UNDER LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION TOPIC ON OUR GOOGLE CLASSROOM. Teachers and counselors use brag sheets so they have a better idea of what to include, like interests and accomplishments in a students letter of recommendation
  2. Request a Letter of Recommendation on Naviance from at least two teachers and your Guidance Counselor--POSTED UNDER LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION TOPIC ON OUR GOOGLE CLASSROOM.
  3. Remember to send the teachers and guidance counselor an email with a copy of your brag sheet. Request at least 2 Teacher Letter of Recommendations and your 1 Guidance Counselor 3. Complete your GENERAL College Essay--The common application ( is a non-profit membership organization representing nearly 900+ diverse institutions of higher education. Students can connect to a wide array of public and private colleges and universities across all 50 U.S. states, and 20 countries. You can find the common application college essay prompt on their website. The prompts were POSTED UNDER COLLEGE ESSAY TOPIC ON OUR GOOGLE CLASSROOM.
  4. Create a account. DO NOT create the account if the college(s) you are applying to is NOT listed on the common app. For example City University of New York (CUNY) is NOT listed on the common app. If you are applying solely to CUNY colleges then do not create a common app account. All SUNY (State University of New York) colleges are on, except for FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)
  5. Students who are applying to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) must go to All other SUNY colleges are on
  6. Go here for a list of the 900+ colleges on
  7. Additional Essays? Visit app support to research which colleges will require an additional essay(s): Informational on writing supplemental essays was POSTED UNDER COLLEGE ESSAY TOPIC ON OUR GOOGLE CLASSROOM.
  10. Explore non-public colleges "Find your Fit Tools on Naviance" POSTED UNDER COLLEGE SEARCH TOPIC ON OUR GOOGLE CLASSROOM.
Seniors, please read through this list carefully.
This is a process. Do not panic. But you must START!
Of course there are more posts and steps to follow....
If you have questions, remember that you can send me an email at [email protected] or [email protected], or make an appointment in person please email [email protected]

"Colleges I'm Thinking About" & "Colleges I'm Applying To"

Naviance Student can help make the process of finding the right college just a little easier.
Using Naviance Student’s Find your Fit search tools, you can locate the schools that most fit with your interests, passions, and criteria.
Once you’ve narrowed down a group of colleges, multiple tools are available to understand more about that school in general and as a prospect.
Naviance Student provides two features to store college information:
  • Colleges I’m Thinking About: This is a list of schools that you have favored and identified as prospective schools of interest. TO BE USED 9th, 10th, 11th grade
  • Colleges I’m Applying To: This is a list of schools to which you have decided to apply. This can be populated from College’s I’m Thinking About or directly from searches. TO BE USED 12th grade




SUNY Admissions Profile

The State University of New York (SUNY)is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. SUNY has 64 institutions, including research universities, academic medical centers, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, colleges of technology and an online learning network.
Attached is the Regular and Honors Admissions Profile (average gpa and scores) of students who entered SUNY colleges in September, 2021. Note: The second page of the Admissions Profile shows a list of SUNY's offering division sports.
Look at column 4-H.S. GPA and
Look at column 2-SAT scores (combined)
These scores reflect the middle 50%
The “middle fifty” is often used to report college admissions test scores and gpa.
If the sat score for a certain school is 1250 to 1350, it means that 25% of the students accepted scored below 1250, and 25% of the students accepted scored above 1350.
If the gpa for a certain school is 89 to 95, it means that 25% of the students accepted have less than an 89 gpa and 25% of the students accepted have above a 95 gpa
What are your chances? What are your Safe, Possible and Reach SUNYs?
Safe=Average person accepted has lower or same grades as you.
Possible=Average person accepted has slightly higher grades than you.
Reach=Average person accepted grades are much higher than yours.
This information is meant to serve only as a starting point. Please visit the websites of individual campuses and speak with admission's office representatives to get additional information about admission requirements. For help choosing your SUNY, email me at [email protected]


CUNY Application Workshop

In these sessions, CUNY Admissions Staff will support you to go from college list to submission-ready.
Note: They will NOT have students submit their applications - they will be instructed to go back to us at Curtis ([email protected] or [email protected]) for final review and fee waivers.
In the 75 minute sessions, CUNY Admissions will provide an overview of the process before Coaches guide students through the application in breakout rooms.
You can register for sessions on Tuesday and Thursday the next two weeks at CUNY. (More dates may be added based on demand).

CUNY Applications

CUNY application fee waivers have arrived!
CUNY application fee waivers allow students to apply to up to 6 CUNY colleges for free. Students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch are eligible to receive a fee waiver to apply. All other students will have to pay $65 to apply to the 6 CUNY colleges
To receive your fee waiver, students/families must hand in their Family Income Inquiry Form (aka lunch form). A and B Students
If you received the paper copy of the lunch form at home, please have your parent/guardian fill it out. Turn it into the Metro Card office at school.
Remote Only Students & A and B students can hand in the Family Income Inquiry Form online at My School Apps.


Summer Lifeguard!