I went to an event where I met a young lady who decided to tell a story about her problems with doing tasks a whim. One story she used to illustrate this was her decision to attend college. She said that she basically drove up to her college of choice, went to the office and said, “I want to go to school here.” Well, you can only imagine the school’s response. They basically said, “Well, ma’am, there is a process,” and handed her a college application to complete.

If you have any plans to attend college last minute, I want you to avoid that young lady’s mistake by also saying, “There is a process for getting into college.” One of those processes begins with completing your college admission application. Here are steps to help you properly and efficiently submit your admission application:

  • First, do your research. Find schools that match your area of interest. Do you like communications, business, psychology? Find schools that specialize in what you love to do.
  • Once you find your school or schools of choice (if you have not been able to narrow it down to just one yet), fill out the application either online or hardcopy. Most schools allow you to fill out an online application. In doing so, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with lots of paper, bad handwriting, erasing or using white out for mistakes. You can even save your work online if you are not able to complete the application in one sitting. You will receive a password so you can access your application as many times as you want and whenever you desire. However, if you decide to fill out a paper application, be sure to write legibly. If you are typing your paper application, be sure all sentences and wording are aligned properly.
  • Be prepared to write an essay for your college application. Make sure you brainstorm, have a draft, and edit your essay. Do not hesitate to ask your high school English teacher, a current or graduate college student, or anyone who is proficient in writing to review your essay before submitting it.
  • Any college you apply to will want an official copy of your academic transcript. Give your college registrar’s office at least 3 weeks to process your request for a transcript. Most colleges will request your high school to send the official transcript directly to the college’s admission’s office.
  • Most colleges will also want a copy of your ACT or SAT scores. As with your official transcript, leave enough time for your request to be processed.
  • In addition, many colleges want recommendations. They will ask for recommendation letters from high school teachers, mentors, coaches, etc.
  • Although many colleges do not require an interview, this may be something you want to look into. Maybe you feel an in person interview would better present your capabilities as a college student over your electronic or printed application. This interview can occur after you apply. The interview also gives you an opportunity to learn more about the school. Call the college to set up an interview.
  • Be aware of your application deadline. The deadline for your application will be on your application. Applications are usually due before January 1st. To lessen stress and forgetting any details, it is best to prepare to send your application in early. You can set your own personal date. If you miss your application deadline, you miss the opportunity to apply to college.
  • Many schools also have a college application fee. Most college application fees range from $35 to $50. Set money aside so you are able to submit this fee with your application.  If you have trouble paying the fee, be sure to ask your college if they have application fee waivers.
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