What Information Is Collected on a College Application?

Applications for undergraduate admission to college typically request a variety of information from applicants, from a student's academic record to his or her test scores. This article explains the information you'll likely need to include on an undergraduate college application.

College Application Overview

While each undergraduate college application is unique, most do ask for similar types of information. Most schools want to know about an applicant's high school academic record, the extracurricular activities they participated in, their entrance exam test scores and their family background.

Important Facts About College Applications

Academic Considerations Standardized test scores, honor roll recognition, AP/IB courses
Extracurricular Considerations Athletic teams, honors societies, community service, volunteer experience
Supplemental Materials Teacher recommendation, application essay
Additional Requirements Certain programs, such as those related to the performing arts, may also require an audition or portfolio demonstrating an applicant's talent and creativity

High School Academic Record

Much of the information collected on college applications relates to an applicant's academic record from high school. Colleges often ask applicants to report their grade point average (GPA) from high school and describe any type of advanced classes taken. The name and address of the applicant's current school is typically requested for verification purposes, along with the principal or guidance counselor's contact information.

Extracurricular Activities

College applications usually collect information about the extracurricular activities that applicants took part in during high school. Most colleges use extracurricular activities as a starting point for evaluating an applicant's interests to see if he or she will be a good fit with the rest of the school's student body.

Admission Test Scores

Another important piece of information collected on college applications is the applicant's scores on entrance exams like the SAT or ACT. Scores on standardized entrance exams are considered an indicator of future performance in college, so schools often place substantial emphasis on them during the admissions process.

Family Background

Many college applications inquire about an applicant's family history for demographic purposes. Applicants may be required to list their parents and siblings, along with any step-parents or legal guardians, if applicable.

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