College applications are more of a time-consuming activity than a challenge. Here are some tips that might help you out when you are starting your college application process:

  • Start early! College apps require a lot of information and can take a long time to fill out. Make sure to give yourself enough time to finish every part before the deadline!
  • Write all of your important deadlines down. All colleges DO NOT have the same deadlines. One college may require you to submit your application by January, but another may require it by December. Stay organized and make sure you are paying attention to every due date.
  • Don’t forget about financial aid deadlines! Different colleges may require you to submit the CSS Financial Aid Profile or the FAFSA by a certain day in order to qualify for aid. Forgetting to do this may end up very badly!

How do I apply for a college?

This may seem like a simple answer, but the application for a college can occasionally be hard to find.

The easiest way to find out what applications you are required to fill out for a college is by searching “apply ‘college’s name.'” For example: apply uc riverside.

One of the first few search results should direct you to the page on the college’s website in which it describes how to apply if you are a first-year applicant.

Many private schools now use the Common Application, making it simpler to apply to multiple schools. Most public schools have their own application.

The private college I am applying to doesn’t use the Common App!

Not all private colleges use the Common Application. In order to find out how to apply to your school of interest, follow the instructions above to locate the page of their website that gives instructions.

When is the Common App due?

Different schools have different deadlines, depending on what way you are applying. Many applications are due in early January for Regular Decision and November for Early Decision/Action. Make sure you are aware of what applications are due so that you can stay on top of essays and recommendations.

When should I ask my teacher to write me a recommendation?

You should ask your recommender to recommend you at least two weeks before your application is due– preferably a month ahead of time. They are busy people, and they need time if you want a good, solid letter written about you!

Don’t ask your recommender to recommend solely by adding them as a recommender on the Common App. Approach them in person beforehand to make sure that they are up to the task.

Because your recommender might only know about you in the context of school, you should give them an updated resume of the activities that you do, awards you have won, etc., as well as a copy of one of your essays and any specific information as to what you want them to mention in their letter.