How to Apply to College?

The college application process is a meaningful journey that encourages you to reflect on yourself and your interests. The steps provided in this article will guide you through the application process.

By Kennae Hunter — November 14, 2022


How to Apply to College?

Applying to college seems scary because there are so many options. Each option also has a multistep application process. Yet, applying to college can be fun and exciting. You are taking steps to follow your dreams. Though overwhelming, the good news is that there are general steps to applying for college, which are standardized at colleges across the country. Of course, variations in essay questions and entrance qualifications exist for different institutions. Have no fear! The general steps provided in this article will guide you through the application process

Make a List

First, make a list of the colleges you're interested in. Keep your options open in the beginning — a list of about ten colleges is a good number to start. When making a list, consider whether you want to go to college out of state or in the state you live. If you already know your major, consider colleges with a program tailored to your goals.

If any colleges have offered you scholarships in advance or scouted you, that is important to keep in mind. Consider experiences you'd like to have when researching potential colleges. For example, whether or not they have a sports team or club you want to join. Application fees can be expensive. Once you have a broad list, you can compare them based on important factors to narrow it down to your top five or top three.

Gather Admissions Requirments

Now that you have a list write down the admissions requirements for each so that you know what you need to accomplish in high school. The most important admissions requirements to look for are GPA, entrance exam scores, and if recommendation letters or an essay are required.

Speak with your high school's guidance counselor about your GPA and grade status. Consider what you need to do to get the GPA you need if you do not already have it. This conversation can happen as early as the end of ninth grade. Your counselor can also help you sign up for SAT and ACT entrance exams that mostly all schools require.

It is important to know the target test score you need to get into the schools on your list to determine whether you need to retake either test, which you can do as many times as necessary. Many schools are now test-optional as well, so check to see if you need to take the test at all.

Taking entrance exams as early as your 11th-grade year can be helpful. Testing early gives you enough time for any necessary retakes. If the college requires recommendation letters, consider who you're going to ask, and go ahead and speak to them about it. Early conversations will help mitigate stress for you and your letter writers later. You also want to make sure they feel comfortable writing a letter for you and not just assume they will.

Creating the Application

Now that you have completed the necessary steps to meet the admissions requirements, it is time to apply officially. Go onto the college's website and click apply. You may need to create an account and do all the steps on the screen to do that. The general application will ask you to fill out personal information. This way, the college can know who you are and your plans. You may enter your test scores, attach your official transcript from high school, or request through your counselor. You will most likely have to respond to one (or a couple!) essay prompt. It is a good idea to write it in advance to allow yourself the opportunity for someone you trust to edit and give feedback.

After you have submitted all your supplemental items — lawful presence verification, immunization records, and your FAFSA application — it's time to wait for responses. As the acceptance letters start rolling in, you'll have to make your final decision. Even if you don't get into all the schools, you should be proud of yourself for going through the application process.

Kennae Hunter

Kennae Hunter

Kennae Hunter is a freelance writer for SAGE Scholars, Inc. She recently graduated college one year ago with her bachelor’s degree in mass communications and is following her dreams of being a reporter. Hunter has a passion for writing and does so in her free time along with reading a variety of genres of books. She hopes to inform the community on all things about college to make their experience just as enjoyable as hers.
How to Apply to College?
How to Apply to College?
November 14, 2022
The college application process is a meaningful journey that encourages you to reflect on yourself and your interests. The steps provided in this article will guide you through the application process.
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