Preparing for the College Application

About this article
To help reduce some of the anxiety during the college application process, plan ahead and try not to procrastinate. This article provides suggestions that helps you stay focused and organized when applying to colleges.
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There are many pieces of information to submit for your application for a college or university. It is likely that you are applying to several different schools, so you can reduce the anxiety of acquiring all these pieces of information by starting early and not procrastinating. Also, have a copy of your high school transcript on hand. You will also need to know your social security number and high school code.

Those at collegeboard.com suggest you make a folder for each college you apply to. At the front of each folder should be a checklist of required materials and the date each is due. When you later reference this folder, you can see at a glance what's been taken care of and what still needs to be completed.

Most applications request a list of activities you have participated in, a list of honors and awards, career interests and some may even ask for a statement from personal references. Acquiring activities and honors information from years past requires time and energy. Start gathering this information early. Brainstorm before getting started and ask the following questions of yourself:

  • Which activities were most significant to me and why?
  • Does a particular award or honor stand out in my mind?
  • What might I contribute to the college that no one else would?

The experts at collegeboard.com want you keep in mind a simple ideology when filling out the applications: Honesty is the best policy. Admission officers can detect brown-nosing, exaggeration and outright lies. Admission officers want to see an honest picture of your individual interests to get a better idea of who you are.

Consider filling out the supplemental information category of your college application. The necessity of this section varies depending upon the school. Some schools may not even require it. The supplemental information category is a chance for you to explain special circumstances or detail unique abilities. If there is no such section on your application, contact your school's admission office and inquire about including such materials. Aspiring musicians, for example, might wish to send slides or a videotape of a performance. Be sure to label such materials and indicate on the application that it is included.

Applications all have similar requirements and it is perfectly permissible to use the same materials for different schools. Send the packets certified mail, so you get confirmation and a record that they were delivered on time.

Popular Schools

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    1. Ashford University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.A. - Education
      • MA-Psychology
      • MS-Criminal Justice
      • MBA - Media Management
      • MBA
      • MA/Education - School Leadership in the 21st Century
    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Journalism and Mass Communication
      • B.A. - Psychology
      • BA/Education Studies
      • B.A. - Business Admin
      • B.A. - Communication Studies
      • B.A. - Liberal Arts
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Early Childhood Education
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    2. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MSCJ: Law
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master: Psychology/General Psychology
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    Bachelor's
      • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
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    Certificate
      • Psychology
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      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
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    3. Northcentral University

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    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
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      • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
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    4. University of the Rockies

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    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
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    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Education
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    5. Southern New Hampshire University

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    Master's
      • MS in Higher Education Administration
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      • AA in Liberal Arts
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    6. Grand Canyon University

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    Doctorate
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      • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
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      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
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    Certificate
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    7. Steiner Education Group

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    Certificate
      • Massage Therapy
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    8. Regent University

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    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
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    9. Indiana Wesleyan University

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    10. Johns Hopkins University

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      • Certificate in Government Analytics
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Featured Schools

Ashford University

  • M.A. - Education
  • B.A. - Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Associate of Arts - Early Childhood Education

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MSCJ: Law
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Psychology

Which subject are you interested in?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
  • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

University of the Rockies

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Psychology - General Psychology

What is your highest level of education?

Southern New Hampshire University

  • MS in Higher Education Administration
  • BA in Psychology
  • AA in Liberal Arts

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • Graduate Certificate of Completion in GeroPsychology

What is your highest level of education?

Steiner Education Group

  • Massage Therapy
  • Esthetics (Skin Care)

What is your highest earned degree?

Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?