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
  • Online Programs Available
    2. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin: Management
      • Master of Business Admin: Operations Management
      • Master: Education - Curriculum and Instruction
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    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Marketing
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    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts in Business Administration
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  • Online Programs Available
    3. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
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      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
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      • Bachelor: Health Care Management
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
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    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Office Admin
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    4. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
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    Certificate
      • Certificate in Government Analytics
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    5. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
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    Master's
      • 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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      • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Applied Management
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    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate of Completion in GeroPsychology
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    6. Northcentral University

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      • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
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    Certificate
      • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership
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    7. University of Delaware

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Public Administration
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  • Campus and Online Programs
    8. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
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    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
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      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
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    Certificate
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  • Online Programs Available
    9. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Health and Human Services Administration
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  • Online Programs Available
    10. ECPI University

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    Bachelor's
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    Associate's
      • Associate's - Electronics Engineering Technology
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    Certificate
      • Mobile Development
      • Web Design & Dev

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?

American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management: Business Admin Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management
  • Diploma: Medical Office Admin

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Master of Liberal Arts
  • Certificate in Government Analytics
  • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication

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?

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 Delaware

  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
  • Cert - English As A Second Language (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?