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What You'll Need to Apply


Once you've selected several schools that interest you, ask the admissions office for application forms and make sure that you:

  • Fill them out carefully.
  • Look for application instructions in the school's catalog and follow them exactly.
  • Make copies of everything you submit.
  • Wait two to six weeks for a response to each application.

When you apply for admission to a college, you will need to pull a lot of pieces together:

High School Transcript: Most colleges will require a copy of your high school transcript. You can request this be sent to the college(s) you are interested in through your high school's office or your school counselor.

Application Fee: You might have to pay an application fee (anywhere from $20-$75). If you can't afford it, talk to an admissions counselor at the college to which you are applying. You may be able to get the fee waived.

College Admissions Tests: Most four-year colleges or universities require you to submit ACT or SAT scores. If you apply to a school with open enrollment, you may not need to take the ACT or SAT. Make sure you know test dates, times and locations. Talk with your school counselor about how to sign up for the test.

Letters of Recommendation: Four-year colleges or universities often require letters of recommendation. These recommendations are about what you've accomplished, what kind of potential you have, and why the person writing the letter believes you should be admitted to that college. Recommendation can come from your teachers, coaches, mentors, church leaders, employers and people you've worked with in your community. Recommendation cannot come from relatives.

Application Essay: If you plan on attending a four-year college or universities, you may have to write an application essay. This essay is a way to let a college know the real you. If the essay topic isn't provided, you can choose your own topic. If you need help, talk with a school counselor, teacher or parent.

Interview: If the school is very selective with its admissions process, you may have to schedule an interview. The best interview tip is to relax and be yourself.

Make sure you keep track of your college applications using a college application worksheet.