College Application Requirements
Your high school guidance department will have specific procedures for you to follow when submitting your college applications. Usually, your high school will require you to submit all of your college application materials to them after you have completed your part. They will then enclose your transcripts and any other necessary materials and forward the package to each college you have indicated. Your guidance office will have a deadline as to when they expect to have materials from you, so make sure you understand their procedures.
Remember to take time when completing your college applications. The application may be your only chance to show the college that you have what it takes to attend their school. Proofread for spelling and grammar errors and make sure you have filled out all required information. Note that some schools accept the common application and others will require you to fill out the school’s individual application. Make sure you understand to which schools you can and cannot submit a common application.
In addition to completing the common application or school’s individual application, you will also probably need to submit test scores, recommendation letters, and an essay. Some colleges also may require an interview. Follow the below guidelines so that you are prepared.
Create a Resume
Create a resume that outlines your accomplishments throughout your high school career. This includes any honors, awards, sports, community service, other activities, or employment. This will help you complete your applications.
A guidance counselor recommendation will be provided with your transcript. Ask teachers and when relevant, employers, school administrators and coaches to write you letters of recommendation. Give them ample time and deadline dates along with any forms that the colleges require. Provide them with your resume and a stamped envelope addressed to the college admission office. Follow up to make sure the forms are completed and forwarded to the colleges in a timely fashion.
Your college essay is a very important part of your application. It allows the college to get to know you better, evaluate your writing skills and determine if you are an effective communicator.
Essay topics can be found on the college applications or the common application. Click here for a list of college essay writing tips. For additional assistance or to have your essay reviewed, give the College Planning Center a call.
Most colleges will require you to take either an SAT or an ACT for undergraduate admission. Some schools may also require SAT subject tests. Contact the college admission office or visit the college’s website to inquire about test requirements.
Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses are designed to meet the needs of the above average student. AP courses are the most challenging courses wherein the student is introduced to college-level material. At the conclusion of the course, the student has the option to take the test offered by the College Board in May. Successful performance on the exam may result in college credit or academic acceleration, as determined by the individual college. Click here for a list of SAT & ACT prep tools.
Most colleges do not require interviews. However, if you can schedule one, it is an excellent opportunity for you to market yourself to the college. An interview is considered an exchange of information between student and college except when used by the college as an evaluation tool for certain scholarships or academic programs. Below is a list of example questions you might be asked during your interview. You should also compile a list of questions that you would like to ask.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you like most/least about your high school? Is there anything you would change about your high school? What is your favorite subject and why? Give examples.
- How would your teachers assess you as a student?
- Who and what influences you? What events in your life have impacted you most?
- How do you describe yourself? What are your hobbies/interests?
- What is the most significant contribution you have made to your high school?
- What do you want in a college? Why do you think this college would be a good fit for you?
- What makes you a good fit for this college? What makes you unique?
- What are your goals for the future? Do you know what you would like to study?
- Why have you chosen to participate in the extracurricular activities you are part of? Would you like to continue these activities at the collegiate level?
- Do you have any questions? (Have questions!)