Tips for Applying to College

  • Common Applications

    Texas Common Application:
    All Texas public postsecondary institutions, technical, vocational, and universities use this application for admissions.

    Common Application:
    Over 500 institutions public and private nationwide are a member of the Common Application System.


    Remember the following when applying to colleges and universities:

    1. Follow Directions Carefully
      This is the most commonly made error by applicants; be sure that you follow directions thoroughly.
    2. Write Legibly
      If you do not apply online, the first impression is your penmanship (handwriting). Your application should be neat and legible.
    3. Reread Everything
      Be sure to proofread everything you write.
    4. Check Spelling and Grammar
      Poor grammar and spelling will give a bad impression.
    5. Ensure Everything is Filled Out and Complete
      Make sure you fill out all sections of the application. If possible, do not leave any blanks. If the question does not apply to you, reply "not applicable" or N/A.
    6. Fill the Application out Yourself
      You can get friends or family to help you brainstorm if needed or give the application a second glance, but be sure to fill it out yourself.
    7. List Extracurricular Activities
      List only the extracurricular activities in which you have participated. Some colleges do check.
    8. Check the Date and Signatures
      Don't forget to sign and date the application.
    9. Attach All Pertinent Documentation/Information
      Make sure you attach all supporting documents the application requires. Be sure to check with admissions before sending these documents electronically; you may have to send them via regular mail. Also, make sure you include any applicable fees.
    10. Ensure Your Application Gets Submitted
      If you are applying online, be sure that you reach the confirmation page. Always save correspondence (e-mail or otherwise) and make a note of any confirmation numbers.


    Helpful Links:

    College Board - Applying 101
    This site provides resources for students applying to colleges and universities. The site offers information on what colleges are looking for and how to navigate the application process.

    College Reality Check
    While it’s not the only college site out there that does, College Reality Check gives you the option to select different schools and visually compare different statistics between the two.

    College Navigator
    Provides information regarding all aspects of colleges and universities from admission statistics to retention and graduation rates.

    This site provides students the opportunity to research scholarship opportunities across the country based on their student profile.