Applying

Completing college applications can take a lot of time. So you want to make sure that you get it right and not make mistakes. Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

Know the guidelines

Before you start applying to schools, find out the application deadline and fees for each school you are considering.

Plan ahead

It takes time to get standardized test scores tabulated and mailed, and it takes time for school counselors and others providing references to gather information.

Follow the instructions and proofread

The application is often a college admission committee’s first contact with you. Make a good impression with a neat application free of spelling and grammatical errors.

Work with your high school to send all records and test scores.

Go to your high schools’ guidance office for help getting all necessary transcripts (grade history), records, test scores, and applications sent to prospective schools. If you decide to apply to schools that have not already received your test scores, you can ask to send your scores to that college.

Make the most of personal references

Ask people who know you well, and give the best impression of you to your school. Prepare a neat and legible reference form and give your references plenty of time to respond.

Write an outstanding essay

Most college applications require an essay, so spend time developing a good one. While a great essay probably won’t get you into college if you don’t meet the other academic requirements, it could move you as a “maybe” up the list.

Be ready to interview, audition, or submit a portfolio

Some colleges also require a personal interview or examples of work in special areas such as art or music.

Keep a copy of all your application materials

You never know when you might need them!