Although it’s early in your senior year, it’s time to get your ducks in a row for college!  In addition to finishing out the year strong academically and being involved in other activities, you now have a new ‘part-time job’ added to your busy schedule – it’s called preparing for college!  Here’s how the college admission process works — no need to be confused!

Apply to College

October has been designated as Apply2College month. If your school is not hosting an event, then you will need to be proactive and submit your applications to the colleges that you’re interested in attending. The College Application Checklist  provides a list of items typically needed to complete most college applications. Review each college’s admission application carefully and submit all required documents. If there are letters of recommendation needed, request them now, and write any required essays so you are ready to hit submit once your application is completed. Also, don’t forget to pay your application fee so there aren’t any delays in processing your application. The earlier that you apply, the sooner you will begin receiving personalized communication from the college.

Apply for Scholarships

Contact the Admissions or Financial Aid office at the college(s) that you are interested in to determine how and when to apply for college-based scholarships. Many colleges use entrance exam results (ACT/SAT) to award scholarships.

Expect Acceptance Letters

After submitting your admission application, you will receive a response from the college(s) notifying you whether you have or have not been accepted to their school.  If you’re accepted, you will receive communications from the college on important dates as well as other specific information related to that particular institution.  This correspondence may reach you via e-mail, postal mail, or on the college’s student portal.

Complete Housing Documents

After you’re accepted to a college, you’ll receive information about student housing – if it is offered at their school.  You will indicate your dorm preference, complete a housing contract, and submit a housing deposit.  The deposit secures a room in the residence halls, and will later be credited toward your housing bill.  In late spring, the college will send a roommate compatibility survey to help match you with someone who shares your likes and interests.

Attend New Student Orientation

In late spring, you will receive information about new-student orientation and instructions on how to register.  Space is limited per session, so register early to secure the date that best suits your schedule. Orientation usually includes:

  • Tours of the campus and residence halls
  • Panel discussions on academic and student life
  • Small group sessions on topics such as financial aid and study-abroad programs
  • Information fair with representatives from various campus organizations
  • Register for classes with help from a peer counselor or staff advisor

For many students, orientation is a chance to meet future classmates and get comfortable with the campus. For parents, it’s a golden opportunity to scout out textbook options, nearby coffeehouses, bakeries, and restaurants – information your student will need down the road. Even if your child is going to a local college and living at home, going to orientation sends an important message to your child that his/her college education matters to you!