The College Application
Types of Admissions
Standard Admission - Application and supporting documents must be submitted by a set date in the senior year. The dates vary from November 30 through March 15. The college then takes action on all the applications and notifies all students of its decision at the same time.
Early Decision - This program is for students who select a particular college as a definite first choice. The application, as well as all supporting documents, must be submitted early, usually in November. The college will then take action and notify you, usually in December, whether you have been accepted or deferred to the standard admission review period. If accepted, you are under agreement to attend that institution and must withdraw all other applications. Students who need financial aid should give careful consideration to applying for Early Decisions because financial aid might be affected.
Early Action - This program is similar to Early Decision but you do not have to commit yourself until the reply date in May and can continue to apply to other schools. Also, the college can refuse admissions as well as defer or accept. Many of the Ivy League schools use this system. Check with individual school for their policy.
Single Choice Early Action - This program is similar to Early Decision but you do not have to commit yourself until the reply date in May and can continue to apply to other schools. Also, the college can refuse admissions as well as defer or accept. Many of the Ivy League schools use this system. Check with individual school for their policy.
Rolling Admission - The many state universities and some private schools that use this program act on your application as soon as the file is complete. They notify you of the admissions decision within weeks of receiving the complete application. Schools with a rolling admissions system continue to accept students until they reach capacity enrollment.
Helpful Tips for Filling Out Applications
- Fill out your applications accurately and completely. Most colleges now prefer on-line applications. Completing the application on-line has many advantages including faster submission of your application, easy updating options, on-line status check, lower application fees, etc.
When submitting an on-line application:
- Print or otherwise save a copy of the submitted application, the receipt and/or confirmation page. Keep a notebook, binder or manila envelopes with everything related to testing and applications. Keep a copy of every form you complete.
- Provide Senior Counselor with:
- Transcript Request Form
- your letters of recommendation if they are to be included with the application.
- Any additional forms that the college may request e.g., the High School Counselor Recommendation form.
- Of course, if you are submitting a hard copy application, the application itself as well as the check for your application fee must be included in the package too.
- Send your applications as early as possible during the filing period.
- If you submit a paper application, obtain a certificate of mailing from the post office. This is your only proof that you have mailed your application in a timely manner.
- Before you start filling out college applications, you should have:
- Visited the campuses of as many as possible of the colleges you're considering.
- Narrowed your list of schools to which you are going to apply to four to seven. The cost to apply to each college averages around $60 each, so narrowing the number of colleges to those you are really interested in attending is cost effective and saves you unneeded work.
- Copy the application for practice and as a work copy. Read the application directions before you begin to fill it out.
- Make sure your SAT and ACT scores are sent by the testing company to each college where you apply.
- Ask teachers for letters of recommendation (if required by colleges).
- Some helpful hints if you are completing a paper application:
- Read the admissions application completely before you print anything on it.
- Mistakes look sloppy and could prejudice your application in a tight selection process.
- Make a copy of a blank application and do a rough draft.
- Use a medium-point black pen.
- Legibility is essential.
- Bring your completed application to your counselor at least two weeks before the application due date.
- Your package should include a check for the application fee.
- Check with counselor that letters of recommendation (if required) have been provided.
Basic Application Ethics
- Fabricate or exaggerate activities and accomplishments
- Have someone else write or substantially rewrite their essays
- Fail to disclose disciplinary infractions if asked directly about them on an application form (colleges and universities will generally give applicants a chance to explain infractions)
- Tell more than one college that it's their first choice
- Mislead a college about their intended major just because it might help them get in
- Fail to notify the other colleges that have accepted them when they accept an admission offer