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How To Submit College Application

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Learn how to submit a college application

At TBU we know the college process can be stressful and overwhelming for students and families alike. Through years of experience as college admission officers and high school advisors weve developed key strategies


Washington Post Article, May 7, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, families are questioning fall college enrollment and colleges may be facing enrollment declines.

For some students, deciding where to enroll may come down to how schools reopen in the fall. Stacy Hernandez, a college admissions consultant in Denver, said many families are reluctant to pay tuition if colleges are operating only online. Thats what Im hearing over and over again, she said.

What Is The Average Cost Of A College Application

The Cost of Applying to College According to US News & World Report, the average college application fee in 2016 was $43, while $50 was the most common application fee amount. The most expensive schools have fees around $80 to $90, including Stanford University, Duke University and Columbia University.

Reread All Instructions And Check For Extra Materials

One of the biggest mistakes a student can make on college applications is not properly reading the instructions. Before you start reviewing each application, reread each set of instructions. Then check if the answers you provided match what the prompts or directions ask. Some schools require answers to short supplemental essay questions in addition to or lieu of a traditional admission essayso do the extra research to find out if youre missing anything.

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List Of Academic Honors And Achievements

Most college applications, including the Common App, include a section for you to list academic awards and/or honors you’ve received. Alternatively, you may be required to craft a resume that lists your biggest accomplishments.

Examples include subject-based awards, honor roll achievements, and recognitions from academic competitions, such as winning first place at a regional science fair.

Make sure you list your most significant achievements first, starting with any national awards and ending with any school awards. The description of the award should be brief and specific and take the form of a bullet list. Keep in mind that this section may not be lengthy for everyone â and that’s OK.

How To Correct Mistakes In Your College Applications

UNC Admissions Blog

Sometimes, even under the best of circumstances, you find an error in your applications after you’ve submitted them.


We know you’re human. So do admissions officers. Your human capacity for error doesn’t give you a pass to submit a mistake-riddled application, and ideally, you’ve submitted applications with zero mistakes. But if you do find a mistake after you’ve already sent them off, don’t panic. There are things you can do to set things right again:

1. Evaluate whether a correction is even necessary.

Not every mistake is a doozie. If the mistake is truly inconsequential , let that sleeping dog lie rather than drawing attention to the mistake with a correction. But if the mistake is anything bigger than a single typo, submit a corrected version of your application form with a brief cover letter asking that your corrected application/attachment be substituted for the previous one.

2. Submit a corrected version through the appropriate channel.

Submitting a corrected application can be logistically tricky in the era of online applications, because once your application has been submitted, you are typically prohibited from changing it or resubmitting it. If the college is a Common Application college, you should submit your corrected version and your cover letter directly to that college. You cannot submit any updates or corrections through the Common Application after you have submitted.

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How To Update The Transcript

For the Mid Year Report, only a few things need to change on the transcript.

  • Add first semester grades. Now, I know some of you will be tempted to not give semester grades for year-long courses. Of course you can choose thatjust write IP for In Progress instead of a grade. But remember what I mentioned above? About the importance of strong Mid Year Reports? They cannot be underestimated when it comes to borderline applicants, merit aid, and honors programs. You have a fabulous opportunity to showcase your homeschoolers worth. Take advantage of it!
  • Update credits for any classes that are completed. These would be one semester courses which occurred in the fall.
  • Make any changes to spring semester course names if they are different than the initial transcript. Stuff happens and changes are made to a schedule. Just be sure to note those changes on the transcript.
  • Recalculate the GPA, only if semester courses were completed. Do not factor in ongoing, year-long classes in the new GPA. That is only to be done upon completion of the course. However, certain schools may recalculate GPA using those semester grades once they have the midyear report in hand, so keep that in mind.
  • Remember to sign the updated transcript!
  • Related:How to Upload Homeschool Transcripts in the Common App

    Make Sure You Have All Supplemental Documents

    If your application asks for a school report, letters of recommendation, a counselor report, or anything else that requires someone else to complete it, make sure to check the status on each of these before hitting submit. Some schools will require an official transcript with your application. Request an official transcript from your school counselors office, and they will either give it to you in a sealed envelope so you can mail it, or they will mail it for you. The last thing you want is to send your application on time but have documents missing from your file. Make sure your letter writers know about the deadline. Most colleges requiring letters wont read an application without it, and if your letter writer is a teacher, this is a busy time of year, so theyll need plenty of notice. Touch base with them now and be sure to thank them again for going the extra mile in supporting your college plans.

    Related: Do I Need to Submit Supplemental Materials?

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    Proofread Your Application Yourself

    After you proofread your application for content and correct information, go back and reread it for spelling. The last thing you want to do is submit an application listing callus instead of calculus for your senior math class. Its easy to think your computer will catch every mistake on your application, but that wont happen if it doesnt know the word or if you typed saw when you meant to type was. Check every word carefully, especially the section on awards and hobbies, since they can include unusual words. If you need to slow down when you check, read your application backwards that usually does the trick.

    Proofread The Application Packet

    Submitting an application on the CommonApp

    Before you begin to fill out any part of your college application, be sure to read the entire application packet your college has provided. Understanding precisely what is required on your college admissions board is the key to creating a successful application. If you find any part of the application process confusing, consult a guidance counselor, parent or trusted to teacher for advice.

    Online college applications are convenient, but they also make it easier for students to rush the application process and make mistakes. If your college accepts applications online, print out a hard copy of the application forms and read them through thoroughly before filling out anything.

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    How Do I Submit My Common App To Colleges

    Once youre ready to submit your application and pay your application fee, you simply need to go to the Review and Submit Common App section for that specific college. Once youve confirmed that your application is ready to be submitted, youll be routed to our third party payment vendor to pay your fee.

    What To Remember Before Submitting Your College Applications

    It’s vital that you double-check your applications before submitting them to colleges so you can ensure they are free of errors and put you in the best light possible.

    “Common mistakes include submitting an incomplete application, not proofreading to avoid spelling errors, including the name of a different college or university in the essay, procrastinating, and not adhering to application deadlines,” warned Chavis.

    In addition, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re unsure about something. The last thing you want to do is spend time obsessing over or second-guessing your application.

    Chavis notes how it’s important to maintain balance. “Take things seriously, but do not obsess over the college application process,” he said. “If you’re ever in doubt, ask an admissions representative for advice. We are here to help.”

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    Read Your Essay To Others

    When you read your essay aloud to other people, it allows you to hear the words rather than just seeing them in your head. Read it once all the way through to yourself and then read it to people you trust to give you the truth. Allow yourself to stop and take notes as you go so you can edit it prior to sending. College essays are very private, personal compositions, so its easy to understand why you wouldnt want to share it with someone. But personal writing requires the same flow of ideas any other essay requires, and sometimes the author isnt the best judge of that. Find a grammar-savvy adult who knows you well, show them the essay, then ask, Does this sound like me?

    Related: Top College Essay Tips From Admission Insiders

    Complete The Writing Section Before Hitting Submit

    How to Submit a Winning Scholarship Application

    Although you may be eager to submit your applications, dont forget to complete the writing section first. Look out for a heading titled Writing Supplements and a subheading called Questions, further down the left-hand side of your screen. Youll see a list of writing questions that are specific to the school you are applying to. Make sure to fill these out and double-check all of your work before clicking Review and Submit Common App. Please note, there are TWO parts to submit if your prospective school requires any writing prompts.

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    Taking Advantage Of The Coalition Common And Universal Applications

    The Coalition, Common, and Universal applications are examples of services that provide standardized college applications that let students apply to multiple colleges with a single application. Instead of filling out eight different applications, they can simply fill out one and submit it to each college.

    The Coalition Application, created by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, is accepted by more than 90 institutions. The coalitions platform offers students their own online locker a private, secure space to store materials throughout high school that they might want to share with colleges.

    The Common Application is a standardized application used by nearly 700 colleges. Each year, nearly a million students use the Common Application to submit over 4 million applications.

    The Universal College Application is accepted by more than 30 colleges and universities.

    Make sure your students know that they may need to submit additional or separate documents to some colleges. They also still need to pay individual application fees for each college.

    Get more information to share with your students about applying to college. You’ll find articles on narrowing down lists of colleges, getting organized, completing applications elements and writing better essays.

    Every College Gets To Choose Their Own Recommendation Requirements You Can Find More Details On Each College’s College Information Page

    Inviting and Assigning Recommenders

  • From the My Colleges tab select a college and open their “Recommenders and FERPA” section.

  • If you have not done so already, you will need to complete the FERPA Release Authorization.

  • Invite recommenders using the invite button from each section. You may also use the “Invite Recommenders” button at the top.

  • Select the type of invitation you would like to send. For each invitation you will need information like their name and email address.

  • After you add a recommender, you can view their info using the Manage Recommenders button.

  • Note that teachers, parents, and other recommenders will not receive an email invitation until you assign them to a college. To assign these recommenders, go to their section within this screen. Select their name from the dropdown and use the assign button.

  • If your high school uses Naviance or another partner software, you will not invite your counselor or teachers here. There will be instructional text on this page explaining what to do next. You will still add other recommenders and advisors using the steps above.

  • In general, each college has their own recommendation requirements. For example, one college may need two teacher recommendations. Some colleges may not want any teacher recommendations. Colleges can also determine what kinds of other recommenders they want. Some may allow for any recommender type, whereas others only allow an employer recommendation.

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    Make Sure The Recommenders Section Is Complete

    Click the section below Questions on the left-hand side, titled Recommenders and FERPA. On this page, you can invite Recommenders people who will submit forms and information to colleges on your behalf. Additionally, remember to invite your school counselor, who will submit your School Report and other forms, by clicking the Invite Counselor button directly below the button for inviting recommenders. Finally, use the Invite Teacher button to select and assign the teachers who are writing your recommendation letters.

    May 1 202: Deadline To Confirm Offers Of Admission

    Instructions On How To Submit Your Common Black College Application

    Applicants must confirm their acceptance of an offer of admission by this date. Log in to your account to confirm your offer.

    Colleges may extend offers of admission after this date. Each college will set the deadline to confirm offers made after May 1, and this deadline will be communicated to you with your offer.

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    Creating A First Year Common App Account Is Easy And Should Only Take A Few Minutes

    • Choose your registration type.
    • If you are applying to college for the first time you’ll select the “First Year Student” button.
    • Provide your login credentials.
    • Make sure you use an email address you check often. This is the email the Common App and colleges will use to get in touch with you.
  • Complete your registration information.
  • We will need some basic information about you like your name, home address, phone number, and date of birth.
  • Be sure to use your legal name as it appears on official school documents and standardized tests. This will make sure colleges can match documents to the correct person.
  • At the end, you will adjust your communication preferences and accept the Common App privacy policy.
  • Select “Create Account” to complete your account.
  • Congratulations on taking this first step in the college application journey!

    Counselor tip

    • Standardized testing policy
    • Recommendation requirement

    Adding a college is easy! You may add a college using the add button in the search results list. You can also select a college and add them using the “Add to My Colleges” button from their info screen.

    Once you’ve added colleges, you can see them on your Dashboard and in your My Colleges tab. Keep in mind you may only add up to 20 colleges. You may adjust your list of colleges at any time. Once you’ve submitted, you will not be able to remove those schools from your My Colleges list.

    Fee WaiverCoed

    Engage supporters

    Collaborate with counselors, teachers, and more

    What Are The Different Types Of College Applications

    In the past, each college maintained its own application, which students completed individually. While some public and private schools still use proprietary applications, many four-year universities and community colleges now rely on platforms that allow students to complete one application for multiple schools.

    The most widely used platform, the Common Application, is accepted by over 900 colleges and universities. Another popular application system is the Coalition Application. With these platforms, applicants simply fill out information on their demographics, family, education, and awards, and then send a single application to their chosen schools.

    Students typically complete applications through an online platform or the school’s website, but many institutions also supply paper applications.

    In terms of how many schools you should apply to, Chavis recommends choosing a balanced mix of colleges. “Students should always apply to more than one institution,” he said, “and consider applying to several schools in the following categories: dream school, safety school, and a low-cost institution.”

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    How To Apply For College

    As you approach the end of your junior year of high school, you should finalize a list of schools you want to apply to. How many schools you’ll want to apply to depends on your circumstances.

    It’s always good to have a backup school, but if you’re confident that you have the right grades and test scores for your preferred choice, you may only need to apply to one college. Conversely, if you’re only applying to very academically competitive schools, you may want to submit 8-10 applications. For most students, four or five schools is about the right number. Your list will grow and change over time, but it’s good to have a strong starter list by February of your junior year.

    When preparing to apply to these colleges in the fall of your senior year, make sure you have all of the necessary application materials. Every school requires a copy of your high school transcripts, which you can request through your high school records office. Below are a few other items to take care of as you apply.

    Many colleges require a college entrance examination, although some schools have recently dropped this requirement. The two most common college tests are the ACT and the SAT, which seek to measure what you’ve learned in high school. While similar, they do have some important distinctions. Nearly every college that wants test scores will let you submit results from the ACT or the SAT, so it’s up to you to decide â you may also take both.

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