Most schools have a spring application deadline for fall admission which means submitting everything no later than March if you want to attend college in September. Check with the school you're interested in for their exact deadline. You can usually check out the school's website, or call the admissions office.
Applying to several schools can time consuming and boring. Some schools have their own applications. Find out if you can use a Common Application or another electronic application to cut down on the paper work. Some sites that offer a common/electronic applications are:
But however you apply, you need to research the information you'll enter on your application. Here's some of the stuff you might need to get together:
- Personal information (like your Social Security Number)
- Family information (like parents' names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers)
- Educational background (where you went to high school)
- Test scores (SAT and/or ACT)
- Academic experience (specific courses you've taken)
- Awards and honors
- Extracurricular activities (including school, religious, civic, work, sports, and volunteer)
- Written essay
- Recommendations from teachers and counselors
- An official high-school transcript
Your application will make your first impression for you. Keep a few things in mind when filling out your application:
- Give yourself plenty of time to meet deadlines. Being late won't make a good first impression.
- Answer all questions. Don't leave anything blank.
- Follow all the directions, completely.
- Type or print your answers. Be neat. Presentation is important.
- Include supporting materials (letters of recommendation, outstanding examples of your work or interests).
- Make a copy. Applications can get misplaced.
- Sign the application.
- Include any required processing fees with your application.
- If the application requires an essay, practice writing one before putting the final version on the application.
- Fine tune your essay. Don't ramble. Have someone else review your draft.
- Be yourself. Don't exaggerate your achievements or abilities.
- Proofread your application. Have a parent or a friend proofread it, too.