Application Process

Application Process

This webpage contains information and tips for students and families once they begin the actual application process, including completing applications, securing letters of recommendation, writing a great college essay, participating in a college interview, and staying organized through the process.

College Applications: How to Begin

Applying to college is a big job, but you can make it easier by breaking it down into a series of small steps.

1. Get Informed

Colleges want to know the real you. When you apply to colleges, you do not have to try to make yourself look better by listing the kinds of accomplishments or writing the kind of essay you think they want to see. If you are honest about who you are and what you have done, you are more likely to end up at a college that is a good fit for you. College fit is critical to your ultimate success in staying at college and completing your education.

2. Talk to People

Tell your family, your school counselor, your teachers and anyone else you are close to that you are applying to colleges. Talking about what you want for the future — and the ways college will help you get there — is a great warm-up for college applications.

3. Brainstorm

Most applications ask you to describe what you have done in and out of the classroom. Start thinking about your activities, honors and awards, and make a list of those that mean the most to you. You can also write down some notes on your favorite classes and the reasons you like them.

4. Get Organized

If you can keep track of everything you need, you will be ahead of the game. For each college you are applying to:

  • Create a real and a virtual folder for storing documents.
  • Print a checklist (.PDF 172kb | .DOC 37kb) to track your progress on each part of the application.

Gather these numbers and resources:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your high school code
  • A copy of your high school transcript
  • Your score report from a college admission test