A Comprehensive Guide to Applying for University or College

Your college or university application may understandably be at the forefront of your mind on an almost permanent basis, even though the actual deadline for your application may well not be for several months or more.

So here, to help make your college application process seem less daunting is a comprehensive guide to applying for university or college.

Be Clear on Your Deadlines

The first thing to do, as early as you can in the application process, is to determine and record each deadline for every college you intend on applying to.

Even though most colleges and universities across the length and breadth of the United States usually announce their deadlines to be in January of the year you intend to start, this is certainly not the case for them all. Additionally, be sure to check to ensure you are fully aware of each admission requirement for every college you intend on applying to.

Ensure You Fit the Entry Requirements

Source: ucas.com

There can be nothing more soul-destroying for someone who is applying for college for the following year than planning your application carefully and spending ages tailor-making and editing your personal statement and essay to fit a particular school, only to find out that the entry requirements are not suitable.

To combat this, ensure to spend time researching the exact admissions and entry requirements online at an established and reputable college site, such as CampusReel.org. Remember, of course, that different colleges will have different admissions requirements, even if the actual title and content of the course you are applying for are the same or similar. Therefore, make sure to make notes of each set of requirements, to avoid having to repeatedly check and possible make a mistake further down the line.

Familiarize Yourself with the Different Application Components

As with anything else in life, things can seem much more daunting when you are too scared to look into them properly, and the same applies to your situation.

The Following are the key components of any college application and you must spend enough time and give enough attention to each one of them:

  • Academic transcripts showing past grades and classes
  • Your SAT, ACT and other standardized test scores
  • Personal essays and/or personal statements
  • Your personal financial information and proof/application of funding
  • Your basic information and contact details
  • Letters of reference and recommendation

Always Visit Potential Colleges in Person

Source: petersons.com

It is vital for you and at least one other trusted friend, family member, or other loved one, to visit all prospective colleges or universities together, in plenty of time.

No matter how many videos you watch online, or detailed photographs you receive in the school’s brochure and prospectus, neither is any clear substitute for physically walking around the halls and checking out your proposed accommodation.

Additionally, at such college and university open days, you should also take the chance to ask any questions which you still haven’t received an answer to, or else are still struggling to understand, to the staff who are there to help.

It is always far better to ask about something if you are unsure, rather than either guessing as to the correct solution, or worse, feeling too nervous to ask out loud, and this brave decision on your open days will serve to greatly enhance the quality and readability of your application.

Seek Advice with Your Personal Statement

Perhaps the most important section of your college applications is your personal statement, and you must ensure that each college has a customized personal statement, even if the bulk of the essay is similar.

You will be favored much more kindly by the administrators and admissions staff of the college if you mention, within your personal statement itself, why you are interested in both the course and the particular institution.

Additionally, do ensure that you have shown your personal statement, in its entirety, to at least two other trusted people, ideally at least one person who has experience in the academic field and has a good handle on the English language, grammar and punctuation. This will help you to ensure that it is up to scratch.

Choose Your Referees Carefully

Source: slinuacareers.com

Another key piece of advice when writing your college application is that the people whom you choose to act as referees should not only be chosen carefully but also should be spoken to on a one-to-one basis before you include them.

The likelihood is that anyone you are considering, (remember you usually need a mixture of people who know you on a personal level and conversely on a professional one), will be more than happy to officially act as an advocate for you, but it is still customary to check.

Furthermore, unlike when you apply for a job, especially if it requires no qualifications or any experience to note, whereby usually, any references you include in your job application are not contacted, it is highly likely that the admissions staff of your chosen college will indeed contact your referees.

Finalize Your Funding

Being accepted for your chosen college is a magical and exciting time, but to ensure the day you receive your acceptance letter is not tainted in any way, you must ensure that you have successfully finalized how you will fund your studies.

There are several different options when it comes to affording your college education, including the following:

  • Personal scholarships from the college
  • Private funding from friends and family
  • Student loans
  • Grants from the government or other institutions
Source: lovetoknow.com

College Application Waiver Fees

If you or indeed you and your family’s circumstances are such that the college application fees themselves are proving to be tricky to come up with in good time, one option available to you, especially if you are from a low-income family, is a college application waiver fee.

If, in the past, you have either received a waiver fee from your ACT test or your SAT test, then you will automatically be eligible for college application waiver fees, the details of which will be automatically accompanying each application you send.