College process breakdown: Applying

Morgan Grant, Reporter




Applying to college can be a daunting task, but there are many ways to make it easier. With help from current high school seniors, and tips from college admissions and guidance counselors, the process of applying to college can be a lot easier.


The Common Application and other formats:


There may be many ways to apply to a college depending on the college you choose. A common way to apply is through the Common Application.

The Common Application, or Common App, is an easy way to send your information to the colleges all electronically, (students can find the online form here) but some colleges do not affiliate with the Common App. Most schools within the U.S. allow students to submit their applications by mail. This will allow students without technology access to submit their application, essay, transcript, and recommendations with ease.

For those applying to schools outside of the U.S. you will likely be asked to fill out the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service application, or UCAS. This application is very much like the Common App as you can fill out all your paperwork through the website and send it directly to all your schools.

International colleges and universities that do not accept the UCAS may ask that you fill out an application specific to their school and mail it in.

When it comes to gathering letters of recommendations, you should talk to your guidance counselor and teachers you trust to write recommendation letters to on your behalf. In order for them to write these your letters, you will need to fill out a “Gold Form” that lists all of your activities and accomplishments. These forms can be found in all house offices.

Your guidance counselor will also send your transcript after certain marking periods like the end of the first quarter or first semester.

All colleges have application deadlines.

The first deadline that some colleges use is early decision or early action. These deadlines allow students to apply to their schools early.  Early decision is binding and if you are accepted, you will have to attend that school.  Early action allows you to apply to your schools early to get it out of the way, but it is not binding.  

Most schools set their early action or early decision deadline for November 1st or 15th. If you decide to apply early, check what date the deadline is for your chosen schools.

Another deadline most schools offer is regular or rolling decision. Regular decision has a specific date deadline, while rolling allows student to apply anytime within a large time slot. With rolling admissions you may be notified at any point after submitting your application, whereas regular decision schools will not notify you until a specific date in the spring.

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