How Do I Apply to Colleges?

While the application process for each college is unique, there is a great deal of overlap. This article provides general information about the process of applying to colleges.

The Application Process

Applying to college can be a stressful experience, but good planning and time management can lessen the burden. Since the application process is different for every institution, be sure to check the instructions for each school where you're applying before you start your paperwork. Follow the steps listed below to make the application experience as painless as possible:

  • Choose where to apply
  • Get organized
  • Submit all required materials on time

Important Facts about Applying to College

Prerequisites High School diploma or equivalent, GPA requirements, SAT and/or ACT test scores
Degree Levels Pursue 2-year associate, 4-year bachelor programs, or obtain a certificate in your field
Online Availability Flexible options available through most colleges and universities
Common Courses Required number of general-knowledge core courses such as English, math, history, fine arts for degree programs

Choosing Where to Apply

The first step that must be completed when applying to college is deciding where to apply. Factors such as geographic location, the difficulty of admission, the availability of academic programs and the cost of tuition can effect this decision. How you rank schools based on these factors can depend on your college objectives, but people often seek a combination of favorable location, appealing degree programs and reasonable admission standards and tuition.

The Importance of Organization

After deciding where to apply, learn what materials are required for each school and what the application deadlines are. Once you have this information about each college, come up with a timeline for completing the applications. This ensures that all necessary materials, such as personal statement essays, transcripts and applications are prepared in a timely manner.

Submitting Required Materials on Time

Once you've come up with a plan of action, it's vital to follow through and submit all required materials to each school on time. It's wise to submit the application materials early. Most colleges accept applications online, making the process relatively easy to manage. If you do have the option to submit a paper application, it is especially important to apply early in case anything is lost in the mail or delayed for any reason.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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