So, you’ve decided upon the college(s) you’re interested in – that’s fantastic!
Now, you get to apply for admission!
Yes, it’s a big step, and yes, there’s a good bit of work that goes into the process. But most colleges have a fairly streamlined process and advisers who are happy to assist if you have any questions. Also, (if it helps) know that you are not alone – there are literally thousands of individuals who are going through this same process all across the country!
Feeling better? Good! One last word of caution: Institutions have deadlines for submitting certain documents and fees. Those deadlines are important! Missing a deadline could possibly mean forfeiting your acceptance, available grants, housing space, athletic eligibility, or financial aid for which you may be eligible.
Yes, again, that sounds stressful. But, as long as you stay on top of your game, you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
That being said, the typical admissions process looks something like this:
1. Contact the college admissions office and complete the application form (this can be done online in most cases). Yes, there are deadlines even for submitting the application!
2. Be prepared to submit documents such as:
- Copy of your photo ID
- Copy of your social security card
- Official High school transcripts or GED test results
- Your SAT or ACT scores
- Copies of financial documents (bank statements, tax documents)
- Copies of medical records
3. Depending on the institution you have chosen, there may be additional requirements. This could include but is not limited to:
- Reference letters from mentors/pastors
- Athletic information
- Detailed health history information
- Any applicable dual enrollment or college transcripts you may have
- Schedule and take the admissions test
- FAFSA Application (It is always advisable to fill out the FAFSA, which will help determine any financial aid for which you may be eligible at an accredited institution. You can fill out the form online here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/)
4. Once you have submitted all required forms and documents, it is time to relax a bit and wait! The admissions office will contact you and let you know of their final admissions decision. Some colleges can give you an acceptance decision very quickly, while others may take longer. Usually, the expected wait time is posted somewhere on their website. (Go ahead and look for that right now – it’s good to know what to expect!)
5. Be aware that acceptance is not the final step! After receiving notification of your acceptance (congratulations!), you will need to follow the guidelines indicated by your chosen institution. Typically you will be asked to place a deposit in order to finalize enrollment. Enrollment is what reserves your place on class rosters and campus housing (if applicable), and starts the process for requesting your student email and technology information, meal plan details, etc. Basically, all the details about your college life!
It can be a lot to keep track of, but don’t let that scare you! Simply listen carefully to advisers throughout the entire process, make note of important dates, and plan ahead to submit documents and forms before their actual due date.
When in doubt get in touch with your admission representative! Their job is literally to answer your questions and help you plan for a fantastic college experience.
Here’s to stress-free college admissions! Go, get started on step #1, and take control of your future!