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.
View available schools

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

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Tulane University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Online Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management
      • Online Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management
  • Online Programs Available
    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
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
      • MBA: Health Care Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
    Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
      • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
      • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Liberal Arts
      • Master of Arts in Science Writing
      • Master of Science in Applied Economics
      • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
      • Master of Science in Bioinformatics
  • Campus Locations:
    4. Lincoln Tech

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Automotive Technology
      • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
      • Electrical/Electronics
  • Campus and Online Programs
    5. Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
      • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - International Business Concentration
  • Campus Locations:
    6. American National University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
    Associate's
      • Business Administration Management - Associate
      • Medical Assisting - Associate
      • Network Administration - Associate
      • Paralegal
    Certificate
      • Accounting - Diploma
      • Business Administration - Diploma
      • Medical Office Professional - Diploma
      • Pharmacy Technician - Diploma
      • Phlebotomy - Diploma
      • Medical Billing and Coding - Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Notre Dame de Namur University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters in Business Administration
      • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Campus and Online Programs
    8. South College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Admin w/Con Project Mgt
      • Bachelor of Business Administration
      • Bachelor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting
      • Bachelor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Human Resources Management
      • Bachelor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing
      • Bachelor of Business Admin w/Con Health Care Admin
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
      • Associate of Science in Accounting
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
      • Associate of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology
      • Associate of Science in Investigation & Security
      • Associate of Science in Network Administration & Security
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Journalism
      • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Campus Locations:
    10. Universal Technical Institute

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Collision Repair and Refinish Technology
      • Marine Technician Specialist
      • Diesel Technology
      • Motorcycle Technician Specialist
      • Automotive Technology
      • NASCAR Technology

Featured Schools

Tulane University

  • Online Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management
  • Online Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Office Administration Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Master of Liberal Arts
  • Master of Arts in Science Writing

What is your highest level of education?

Lincoln Tech

  • Automotive Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Electrical/Electronics

What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

Louisiana State University Shreveport

  • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
  • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration

What is your highest level of education completed?

American National University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Business Administration Management - Associate
  • Accounting - Diploma

What is your education level?

Notre Dame de Namur University

  • Masters in Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

What is your highest level of education completed?

South College

  • Bachelor of Business Admin w/Con Project Mgt
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Science in Accounting

What is your highest level of education completed?