Completing Your College Applications: 10 Tips
Once you've narrowed down the list of schools you're interested in, complete an application for each.
1. Know your deadlines.
Start your applications early enough to complete them by the deadlines. Deadlines are usually between January 1 and February 15, although they may be earlier if you are applying early admission.
2. Read the instructions.
Most of the mistakes on college applications are the result of not following the instructions. Don't let this happen.
3. Provide all of the requested information.
Leaving blank fields or providing incomplete responses makes it look like you weren't paying attention. Take care to be thorough.
4. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
And after you're done proofreading, give it to someone else to proofread! Typos on your college application are just sloppy.
5. Be honest.
Admissions staff will verify the info you provide, so keep it on the up and up. Don't exaggerate your accomplishments. Honesty is always the best policy.
6. Choose your recommendations wisely.
Use teachers, counselors, and others who know you well, both inside and outside the classroom. Give them enough time to write thoughtful and considerate recommendations, and be sure to thank them.
7. Make sure your essay represents who you are.
The essay is the only opportunity you have to explain why you are different from other applicants. Be original and make it personal.
8. Request copies of your high school transcripts.
Notify your counselor's office of your application deadlines so your transcripts don't arrive late.
9. Keep copies of everything.
Keep copies of your applications, your recommendations letters, your essays, and all other materials that are part of the application process. You never know if something will be lost in transit.
10. Confirm that your application materials arrived.
Contact each of your schools to make sure they have received your application materials. If anything is missing, supply it immediately.
Want to Know More?
- Find out if any of your schools accept the Common Application (more than 400 schools do!). This universal application is available to 1st year and transfer students.
- Visit FastWeb® to learn some ways you can make your application stand out.
- After you submit your application, consider scheduling an interview, so the admissions team can get to know you even better.