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When it comes to the college application process, most students think that the essays and the letters of recommendation are the most important elements of their submission. Here we will delve into other parts of the application that are equally as important! With these tips, you will be prepared to submit an all-around powerful application that will catch any college’s eye.


Application Form

These are usually the first steps to filling out an online form. They typically require all the tedious information like your full name, Social Security number, address, etc. Though this part is relatively easy, don’t leave it to the last minute! Sometimes, a college will not let you attach the rest of your application until you’ve completed the general application form. It may even take a couple days for the college to process and send you a link to attach the rest of your materials.

Here are some quick tips when filling out the general application form:

-Check for grammar/spelling errors.

-Read all the requirements carefully.

-Keep track of deadlines and finish this portion in advance!

-Use an appropriate email address. (It may be time to retire your 6th grade email, snugglebunny123).

-Ask for help (from parents, mentors, or counselors) when you need it!

-Make sure you click “submit” once you complete the form. Obvious, right? You’d be surprised how many people forget this step!

-Check your email after you submit for a confirmation that the college received the form.


Application Fee

Some colleges will require you to pay a fee after you submit your application. (Others may only require it once you are accepted). Application fees can range from free to around $100. When you’re researching schools, take note of the total amount in application fees and factor them into your budget. As soon as you can, start setting aside some money (weekly or monthly), so that you may be more prepared for the application fees!

There are cases in which these application fees may be waived. Attend college fairs and socialize with the recruiters! Some schools allow recruiters to release promo codes to waive the application fee for students they want to apply. If you qualify for SAT or ACT waivers, you may also meet requirements for obtaining a free application. For more information, speak with the admissions counselor of the school you are interested in or visit with your high school counselor. Don’t allow the cost of an application keep you from applying… Where there is a will, there’s a way!



In short, your transcripts are equivalent to your academic records. Think: basically a giant report card that shows your grades from your entire high school career. Colleges will ask that it be mailed or emailed to them, so read the requirements carefully. Before your transcript is sent, read through the classes, grades, credits, and scores to make sure they’re correct. Your school counselor typically is the one to send your transcript to your applied colleges.

Not only will you submit your transcripts with your college application in the fall of your senior year, but you will also need to submit your final transcript to the school you’ve chosen to attend when you graduate from high school. Your final transcript shows colleges whether or not you kept your grades up or challenged yourself during your last year of high school.



Though interviews aren’t always required, it never hurts to ask for one. Talking to someone from admissions in-person will give you an opportunity to express your interest in the college. If the college you wish to attend is out-of-state, you can connect with a local alumn to learn more about the school.


Auditions and Portfolios

Auditions and portfolios are for students pursuing music, dance, theater, or visual arts. For artistic students, this part of your college application serves as a way to show off your abilities. Each program varies depending on the school, so pay close attention to this portion of your application. You want to make sure you are prepared for your audition or supplying the correct amount of samples for submission.


Now that you’re a college application expert, you have the ability to submit killer applications to all your dream schools! If you still want more information, start with the basics of college applications. And if all of this is just overwhelming and making you sweat in weird places, go totally zen with this article all about handling stress in the college search.