Before selecting a school, students must assess the college’s admission requirements to determine if they qualify. To do this, explore the school’s website and note minimum course and GPA requirements, necessary tests, essays, and application deadlines.
Three Types of Admissions
Regular Decision: students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time.
Rolling Admission: institutions review applications as they are submitted and give admission decisions as they receive applications.
Early Action: students apply early (usually November) and receive a decision well in advance of the institution's regular response date. This is non-binding.
Early Decision: students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted they definitely will enroll. The application deadline and decision deadline occur early. This is binding. If accepted, the student must withdraw all other applications.
Limited Entry: a term that describes programs that often require an additional application and accept a limited number of applicants.
Open Admission: some colleges offer admission to all students who apply. Such colleges usually have extensive programs designed to provide remedial or developmental help to students who enroll with academic deficiencies.
College Admission requirements are different than High School graduation requirements.
Research college admission requirements and research admission requirements for private or out-of-state schools on their websites.
Request an unofficial high school transcript from your high school registrar to see if you are on track to meet the college admission requirements.
One main difference between high school graduation requirements and college admission requirements is that 4-year colleges/universities require 2 years of foreign language.
Keep track of all deadlines for the institutions you are interested in applying to. Use this College Application Checklist from CollegeBoard to help keep track of your applications: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/CollegePlanning/media/pdf/BigFuture-College-Application-Checklist.pdf
College Applications include the following:
Application: Usually found on the school's website. Make sure you complete all sections completely and thoroughly.
Official High School Transcripts: Request from your high school registrar. Send these with your admissions application and a final transcript at the end of senior year.
Official SAT or ACT Scores: These can be sent by logging into your www.collegeboard.org or www.actstudent.org accounts and sending the scores the the institution. See Tests for more information about SAT and ACT.
Letters of Recommendation: Some schools require letters of recommendation for admission. Ask recommenders early to write you a letter. Give them at least two weeks. Use the Letter of Recommendation Request Survey to help the recommender write an informed letter about you. Politely follow-up with the recommender as the deadline approaches. Write your recommenders a thank you note and keep them updated on your plans.
Essays: Make sure you answer the question completely, and that you are within the word limit. Let your voice shine through, and be yourself. Get feedback on your essay from peers, teachers, and parents. See Tips on Submitting Applications and Essays.
Application Fee: An application fee is required for most colleges. Many colleges accept fee waivers or deferments. If you received a fee waiver for the SAT, you will receive four college application fee waivers in your CollegeBoard.org online account.