What College Applications do I need to know about?
Filling out college applications? I know, it can seem a bit daunting. There are many questions and loads of information that need to be included. But, not to worry. Everyone who is in college, or wants to be, has to do this.
This webpage will not cover every application known in the acadmeic world. But, it will cover the basics of the college admissions application, college financial aid application, graduation application, graduate school applicaiton, and what to do with them.
With so many applications to cover, lets start with the first- the admissions application.
The application that gets your college years rolling is the admissions application (just one of the many college applications)! If you don't fill this out, you won't be going to school.
--BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH ADMISSIONS--
If you still need help with college admissions, or deciding on which school to attend, there are great college admissions resources on the internet that can help you decide.
It is absolutely essential that you mind the deadlines and other due dates associated with any application. But, this is especially true of the admissions application. Missing the deadline could mean missing a full semester or term of school! Before you begin filling out the admissions application, you ought to know:
1) Where you would like to attend school
I think that all three of these questions tie into each other. If you can't afford it, you probably won't go to that school. The same is true if the school doesn't have the program and classes you need/want.
Either way, it is best to go and talk to an academic adviser and get a plan of study figured out. These people are fantastic resources and can help you decide if their school is a good fit for you before you start filling out any college applications.
Another way to get information about a particular school is to go to the school's website and click on the future students tab. This page will often have steps to take before you apply and a frequently asked questions page.
After deciding which college is the one you want to attend, its time to start filling out the college applications
There are a couple of ways to apply (and there may be more), in person or online. Both are effective. If you plan to do it in person, make sure that you set aside a couple of hours to get up to the campus, find the admissions office, and fill out the application.
Make sure you bring copies of transcripts from previous schools that you have attended (including your highschool).
These can be obtained by calling those schools and requesting an official transcript (you may need to fill out an Official Transcript Request Form and pay a small fee).
You'll also want to have your ACT/SAT scores ready as well. These may or may not be necessary with the school, so it wouldn't hurt to call ahead or check online.
Filling the admissions application out online may be an easier option, but still set aside a good amount of time. The school will probably still require transcripts from your previous schools. But, this can be done by filling out an Officail Transcript Request Form from those schools.
This form is needed by schools you've attended in the past to send your transcript to another school. Most schools do not accept official transcript requests over the phone. However, they will accept a faxed transcript request form. Just look for the fax number on the form.
Remember, there are deadlines with college applications. Make sure you mind them! You must take initiative and plan ahead for them. It isn't worth missing one semester because you missed the deadline.
If you have questions during the college application process, make sure to call and ask someone in the admissions office. There are different policies, guidelines, and requirements for the many different college applications. So make sure to ask questions so that you get it right!
After you are admitted, you can register for classes!
There isn't a way for me to list and go into detail about every possible financial aid applicaiton and scholarship applicaiton out there. But, there are some things you should know.
There are three main financial aid college applications that you should know about (again, there are MANY more). These are the:
The FAFSA is an electronically submitted application and is necessary for you to receive pell grants and federal student loans. You will be able to select which schools you want your FAFSA information sent to during this process (helpful if you are applying to multiple schools).
Scholarship applications are based upon the specific scholarship that you are applying for. Look carefully at the requirements in the application and make sure that you meet financial, academic, and any other special requirements.
School financial aid applications are required by the school for the dispersement of the financial aid funds they receive from the FAFSA (federal loans and grants).
There are also some special forms that you need to be aware of. These are supplement forms and appeal forms. These forms are required in special circumstances like marriage, death, divorce, etc.
Your school's financial aid office will sometimes let you know which special forms you will specifically need to submit for your circumstance. But, it is usually best to take initiative and find out for yourself if they require any special forms from you.
If you have any questions about what financial aid college applications or forms you need to submit, just give a quick call or email to your financial aid office. In most cases, they will be able to tell you over the phone.
The graduation application is another of the college applications that needs to be filled out for graduation. If it is not filled out you may not be able to walk with your graduating class when you need
Mind the due dates! Otherwise you might end up paying a late fee to go to commencement!
You should be able to find your school's specific graduation application and due dates on their website. Make sure that you get the undergraduate application or the graduate application, based upon your situation.
If you have any questions about filling out the application, then make sure to call the graduation office. They will have staff there to help answer all your questions.
There is usually a fee to cover the expenses of graduation (there is a lot to planning and carrying out commencement). You will have to pay this at the cashier's office or the accounting office (or wherever fees are paid on campus) before turning in the application.
You will also have to have any outstanding fees paid. These are things like parking tickets on campus, library book late fees, etc. Make sure to pay these before turning in your graduation application.
I am right there with those of you who are filling out the graduate school application as I am going to be going to graduate school after I finsih my undergraduate work.
There are a few things that I have noticed about applying to graduate school that you need to be aware of.
First, every school is different. So before you do anything, determine which school(s) you would like to apply to.
Second, find out the schools specific requirements and due dates. Some schools have multiple applications. Others require specific test scores and recommendations. It may also vary depending on what degree you are going to get at graduate school.
Make use of the internet. Go to each school's website and look at their graduate school's webpage. It might take some digging, but use the A-Z index and future students tab. These will usually help you get the information you need.
Lastly, (I'm sure you know what's coming) mind the due dates on the applications!
When it comes to college applications, remember that every school is different. Every application has different requirements and there are different policies governing how these applications are handled.
Make sure that you follow the different policies and procedures that are required of you with each college application. These, along with the due dates for each application, can usually be found on the school's website.
If you ever need to call a department or office on campus (i.e. the admissions or graduation offices), then make sure that you think of quesitons to ask before hand.
Also, make sure to have patience with campus staff. They hear tons of questions everyday from students. Many of these questions are the same. You can sometimes find answers to these questions on the school's website.
Good luck in your college application process!