For a stress-free and successful college application process, you should begin looking at schools during your junior year of high school. As you identify good possibilities, you’ll need to take a few steps to ensure that you’re ready to apply. This guide will outline those steps, including:

  • Taking admissions exams

  • Writing personal statements and entrance essays

  • Getting letters of recommendation

  • Doing interviews and campus visits

In addition, you’ll find a plethora of resources to help you on your journey. If you’re applying to a 2-year or technical program at a community college, or an online program, you’ll have different requirements than if you apply to a 4-year university. While all applicants typically need to submit an application, transcripts, and some type of test score (ACT, SAT, or an independent test from the school), 4-year school applicants have more materials to submit, often including an essay and letters of recommendation.

Luckily, over 500 colleges and universities accept the Common Application, which is designed to facilitate easy application to multiple schools. You’ll include oft-requested information about your demographics, family, education, activities and awards, then send that one application to different schools. Even if a school doesn’t accept the Common App, much of the required information is similar, so you’ll be able to easily transfer application details.

Let’s get started!