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What do I need in my application?

orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
edited July 2009 in College Admissions
Hi Sorry if this is in the wrong section
I am doing this independently and Im not sure what exactly you need to apply to colleges. This is what I think I need:
-1 College Essay (Go to their Site to see prompt)
-Transcript (Guidance Office)
-What else?

And do I send it in a letter myself? How do I pay for it? Where do I tell them my E.C.s and SAT scores?
Post edited by orange peel on
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Replies to: What do I need in my application?

  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    You either get the college's own application or use the Common application. Each school has its own requirements. Download, read, follow the directions.
  • aplombaplomb Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    I think the 2009-2010 Common Application will be out tomorrow.
  • idk11idk11 - Posts: 290 Junior Member
    @orange peel

    I am right there with you. My parents are indifferent at this point and my guidance counselor is clueless.
  • pFNMCppFNMCp Registered User Posts: 793 Member
    The best way to figure it out is to go to websites of the colleges that interest you. Look for the "Prospective Students" or "Admission(s)" section, and then look for links like "Applying" or "Application" or "How to apply", which will almost always have complete information on what you need to apply.
  • orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    k thanks ill check it out. Common App isn't accepted by every college is it?
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    No, not schools all accept the CA, but many (if not most) do. The CA website lists the colleges that use it. Public universities have their own applications.
  • HiPeopleHiPeople Registered User Posts: 778 Member
    If the school you are applying to requires recommendations, make sure to find your teacher in August and don't wait until the last minute.
  • orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    k thanks. So private schools do CA but most public dont?
    Do some schools let you do both? And if so, is it better to use their personalized application so they think you like the school more and are more personalized?
  • drusbadrusba Registered User Posts: 9,526 Senior Member
    What you send to colleges:

    1. Application (may be common app for many but most public universities and a number of privates still do not use common app; also many that accept common app may require you to also submit a supplement app of their own). Applications are now generally done and submitted on-line.

    2. Official test scores -- you usually have to have them sent by the College Board (SAT and SAT II) or ACT (for the ACT). Whether you have to take and provide SAT II scores and how many depends on college (most do not require or even use SAT IIs but, on the other hand, most of your high ranked colleges require them). You need to check with each college's admission section on line to see what is required. Note there are some colleges that do not require test scores for admission and a small number that give you the option of providing SAT IIs or AP acores without having to submit SAT or ACTscores. Also, some will accept scores placed on your transcript without your having to send official scores.

    3. Essays -- once again whether they are required and how many and on what topics depends on the college. Many public universities don't even want essays.

    4. Recommendation letters: whether you need them and how many depends on college, public universities mostly do not require or want them; private universities often require them particularly any that are high ranked. Usually they are sent directly by the teachers or through the high school counselor. Note, some colleges (including a number of public universities) have a counselor's form sometimes called a "counselor's recommendation" you need to have filled out by your counselor and sent in. Usually those are not really recommendation letters but verification forms -- verifying you are a student, what courses you are taking senior year, other record info.

    5. Official high school transcript -- you need to order it sent by high school; often this is through your counselor and counselor may send it with a counselor's form. One notable exception to the offical transcript is the University of California (all sites) which does not require an official transcript until after you have been admitted and finished high school -- the app has spaces to self-report all your grades.

    Go searching through college sites and the even the common app site for info on eaqch college. One thing to also look for is when you can start applying to a univeristy, its deadlines, whether it has early decision or early action (and thus separate deadlines for those). Adopt the rule that you should not procrastinate and wait for a deadline to prepare your materials, including because you may need to order some things sent, as noted above, that are not the application itself.

    After you apply, and if you are going to seek finanicial aid, you will need to submit a FAFSA (mostly your parents financial info). It is a government form found at fafsa.ed.gov. Depending on college you may also have to submit a CSS Pofile -- a College Board financial aid form if the college requires it (the form is here: https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp ) -- or the college may have its own financial aid form. A college may also require a copy of your parents' tax return. There are deadline dates for submitting the financial aid forms and those can differ from college to college so you need to get that info off their sites too.

    Also, after you apply, many colleges require a mid-year report when you complete first semester senior year, essentially meaning that you have to have your senior first semester grades sent and possibly a form that verifies which courses you are taking second semester.
  • pFNMCppFNMCp Registered User Posts: 793 Member
    So private schools do CA but most public dont?
    This year, only 392 schools use CA. 35 of those are public.
  • orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    thanks drusba u helped a lot. does the first semester report affect their decision?
  • caltech27caltech27 Registered User Posts: 252 Junior Member
    Your first semester classes and grades count as much as, if not more than, your junior year if you apply regular decision.
  • orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    so only early action or early decision will cancel those gradesout
  • orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    K I looked at a bunch of colleges websites and they all seem to only accept common App! You said Public colleges dont? How do I tell the difference between which are public?
  • drusbadrusba Registered User Posts: 9,526 Senior Member
    This appears to list the colleges that do take the Common App: CollegeData - Common Application Colleges

    On quick review, the only public universities that appear to do so are SUNY (State University of New York, several different campuses) and the Virginia and Vermont public universities. In the US a "public" university is one set up, controlled, and funded (at least in part) by a State. Your question is one that is not easy to actually answer because as US residents, we just almost always automatically recognize which ones are public universities when we hear a name and never have to really think about answering the question: how do you know. Generally any college named "University of" followed by the name of a State (e.g., Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, California) or Name of a State followed by "University (e.g., Indiana University) is going to be a public university but of course there are others that don't follow that set word pattern. (Note, though not really an exception, New York University is a private college but it was named after the city not the State) If you are looking at any particular college's site, just go to the part that sets out amount of tuition -- if it shows two tuition numbers, a lower one for in-state residents and a higher one for out-of-state applicants, it is a public college.
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