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How to Apply for Colleges and Ace Your Application?

How to apply for colleges — this title might as well just be a good horror film based on real-life experiences. Indeed, choosing a school and collecting all those papers is a dread. And all that pressure… But that’s enough of a worry. Today we will tell you everything that concerns applications. We cover tests, scores, required documents, and so much more. Hence, continue reading this guide and increase your chances of being admitted to your dream college!

College Application Deadlines

College application deadlines vary depending on the type of admission. Generally, we say that there are two types: early or regular decisions. But more detailed comparison you can find below:

  • Early decision: It allows you to apply earlier. Although colleges usually set their own deadlines, November seems to be a preferred month. Therefore, you get feedback around December. It is an excellent opportunity to not only get this process over with but increase your chances. Early decision is thus prevalent.
  • Regular decision: It is a standard process with later deadlines. You’ll enroll with other students after early admission. A plus of such enrollment is that you have extra time to collect all your documents and be admitted.

So the choice is all yours!

When Do College Applications Open?

The application process for college is different in every school. So, please, make sure you go through official information from your sources. But typically, all applications start in August. Therefore, students are open to applying towards the end of the summer. Still, check with the official website of your college.

College Application Process: Required Documents

When you apply to college, the first thing to do is always check the required documents. The number of materials will vary depending on the school you’re applying to. Some might need only test scores, transcripts, and similar items. Other schools will also ask for portfolios. Because of this variety, the good idea is to ask counselors for consultation. But you can also find general materials that an average school requires down below. Don’t miss it!

Standardized Test Scores for College Admission

For any successful college admission, you must pass standardized tests. You might have a perfect GPA, yet scores are usually valued higher. Entrance exams are thus important for your consideration. Two common types you will find below:

Those in search of easier options are slightly out of luck. Both tests have high stakes, and, of course, they won't be a piece of cake. However, it is generally accepted that ACT is preferred by those who nail English tests. In contrast, if you are better at math or you just like it better, maybe the SAT will be closer to home for you. See the results of your semester and make a decision accordingly.

High School Transcript for College Application

When one must apply to college, one also should consider high school transcripts. What is a transcript, one would ask? Well, it is a treasured table with all of your scores. All the courses you have taken and all their average grades are reflected right there. Basically, it is your school life on one small piece of paper with numbers. But keep in mind that your official transcript must be sent directly by your school.

Letter of Recommendation for College Admission

Applying to college naturally involves sending letters of recommendation and resumes. Where can you get all of those things?

  • Your resume must be done by you. But we will come back and finish this point later.
  • Your letter of recommendation can be written by one of your teachers. You can either submit a formal request for your chosen teacher or ask them verbally.
  • The good idea is sending them your resume so they can use it for your letter.

Personal Statement or Essay for College Application

College personal statements or college application essays are believed to be the most important part of your submission. Your scores or GPA might not be ideal, but your essay should almost literally scream of how good you are.

What to include in your personal statement?

  • Experiences
  • Goals
  • Academic achievements
  • Anything that you think will convince the board that you’re their candidate
  • Don't forget to mention your reason why you’re applying to this specific school

With all those elements, you can freely submit your personal statement!

College Application Resume

Your resume for college application is quite similar to your normal CV. The majority of schools see this element as optional. But you still should check the requirements in your chosen institution. In case it requires a resume, here’s a quick list of things to include:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Education
  • Experience in your respective field
  • Volunteering
  • Certificates if you have any

How to Apply for College?

How to apply for a college doesn't end with our list of documents. Sure, you can collect all of them, receive good grades, and have a perfect essay. But have you chosen the actual school that deserves such a good student?

The choice is naturally pressuring because it costs money and time. Besides, a degree might also decide your future career. Therefore, we also present you with several tips that you can use to make a wise choice. Keep on reading and learn not only how to complete admission but to choose the school!

Step1. Visit the Colleges You Want to Apply for

The application process for college starts with a choice of a good school. We definitely recommend you to visit the campus of the institution you would like to study at. What is more, selecting only one school is not your best idea. So make sure you have plan A, plan B, and several options in general.

Remember that you can select one school but multiple programs. Highlight what you’re interested in and make a list. You’ll have an opportunity to narrow it down to several good options. But backup plans are vital.

Step 2. Evaluate the Colleges Worth Application

When you apply for college, you should understand which of them suits your personal goals. In other words, if you dream about being a medical professional, an English major might be a little useless for you.

Moreover, each school offers different packages and courses. Where one will have an extremely tight schedule, the other will not have as much material. So you should compare major differences between your institutions and choose the best one. Ranking them depending on your wishes is another excellent tip.

Step 3. Apply for a Scholarship or Financial Aid

Applying for college is also insanely expensive. Yes, education is an investment that costs a lot. But lucky for us, there are different options that can help in lowering costs and saving our bank savings at least a little bit.

  • Loans (The most popular way of paying tuition fees without prior savings. But beware that loans must be paid back. So they are tricky.)
  • Scholarship (Those with excellent grades are more than welcome to receive funds from the college. They might cover just the books, apartment, or even all four years. Everything depends on the type of scholarship.)
  • Financial aid (This type is given for students who have excellent grades but cannot afford further education.)

Make sure you check the support available in your institution!

Step 4. Submit Documents to Apply for College

The college application process takes a while. Not only should you collect all your documents, but remember the deadlines and keep in mind other important bits. However, below, we have compiled a list of things worth remembering when completing the submission:

  • Write down all the deadlines
  • Note all the ways that can help you in paying the college application fee
  • Create a folder with all required materials
  • Preferably, make a checklist and remember all actions without missing vital steps

Step 5. Decide on the College

What to consider when completing college admission? We got you even here. Here’s a quick list that will help you.

Think about:

  • Your future career
  • Best schedules
  • Location (you might attend your institution not only online)
  • Degrees available in your school
  • Price

Considering all those factors, we’re sure that you will choose wisely and select the best college.

College Application Checklist

Before we conclude our guide, we also have a college application checklist. Make sure to save it and check what you’ve already done.

    How to Apply for Colleges: Key Takeaways

    Now we know how to apply for colleges. We wish you to be accepted! But a review of the material awaits us. We learned that schools require a solid pack of documents. So double-check their presence and availability. Some colleges might ask for additional materials that should be noted as well.

    In case you need some help apart from a guide, you’re welcome to visit our admission essay writing service. Our writers are known for submitting works on time and with excellent quality.
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    FAQ About College Application Process

    We also want to answer your questions about college applications down below.

    1. When should you apply for college?

    Start applying for college in high school. Once more, deadlines might vary. But usually, the beginning of your senior year at high school is a perfect time. So remember it and don't miss your deadlines.

    2. How many colleges can I apply to at the same time?

    You shouldn't select only one school when it's time to apply for colleges. Officers will have different averages when it comes to schools. But we would say that 5-6 institutions are a good selection. However, you usually cannot select more than ten institutions at the same time. So keep 6 choices and increase your chances.

    3. Can I use the same documents for applications for different colleges?

    Usually, applications for different colleges will ask for similar documents. Even though they might be very much similar, it doesn’t mean they will be the same. Therefore, you should recheck and double-check all materials. You might want to adjust some things when applying.

    4. How to apply for scholarships for college?

    You can also get college scholarships. All institutions differ depending on how much they offer and who is eligible to apply. So you still should check the individual websites of the institutions. Search is your best friend here. But good grades, documents on your financial status, and essays are a staple.

    5. How long does a college application take?

    College application takes around a week or 5 working days to be completed. During these days, you collect necessary documents and finally submit them. But many also wonder when to expect possible feedback. Here everything will also depend on the college. Commonly, they will take around 7-8 weeks to review your stuff. So you should be patient.

    Rachel R. Hill is a real educational devotee. She prides in writing exceptional general guides while listening to every need of students.

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