Online vs. Paper Application

When it comes time to submit your applications to colleges, you may want to think about applying online. Many colleges will waive the application fee if you apply electronically, since it saves them a lot of paperwork. The downfall to doing your college application on the computer is that you usually have to do it all in one sitting. Some systems still aren’t set up to allow you to save the data and return to it later to fill in missing details.

The Common Application

Filling out the same questions and information over and over for each different school may seem somewhat tedious, so you might want to check out the Common Application for college admission. Similar to sending your SAT scores to a variety of schools, with the Common Application for college admission, you can fill out one questionnaire and send it to all schools that accept it. Remember that you will still need to pay the application fee to each individual college.

Beyond your name, address, and high school’s name, college applications often require supplemental information. These requirements vary from writing a college admission essay to teacher recommendations to midyear reports to SAT II subject tests, so it is essential to find out what needs to accompany your application. Like passing your driver’s license exam with flying colors, if you prepare ahead of time, follow the signs, and complete the examiner’s request, you will get through the college application process with highway speed.

Tips on Completing Your Application

  • Read the instructions. Application forms can be complicated, and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and hassles if you fill in the right information the first time around.
  • Get organized. Keep copies of your applications, essays, and financial aid forms. Create a checklist for each school you’re applying to.
  • Be legible. Whether you’re completing your application online or using good old pen and paper, it is important to communicate in a legible way. Avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Don’t scratch out.

RESOURCES

The Common Application (www.commonapp.org)