Written by Chris Hernandez
So, you're ready to embark on the exciting journey of college applications! Buckle up, because it's an expedition filled with choices, deadlines, and maybe even a healthy dose of stress. But fear not, for this guide will illuminate the different types of college applications you'll encounter along the way, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate this crucial stage with confidence.
First things first, let's address the main three of the application realm: the Universal Application, the Common Application, and the Coalition Application. These platforms streamline the process, allowing you to submit one application to multiple colleges with ease. Choosing the right platform depends on the colleges you're targeting:
While the Big Two offer convenience, some universities still prefer their own unique applications. These individual applications allow for a deeper dive into your specific fit with their institution, but be prepared for more essay prompts and specific formatting requirements. Researching college websites and contacting admissions offices are key to determining which platform they use.
Beyond the platform, understanding application deadlines is crucial. Choosing the right application timeline depends on your personal preferences and college choices. ED can be a gamble but offers a higher acceptance rate at some schools, while EA gives you more flexibility. Regular decision allows you to compare more offers but increases the pressure of waiting till spring. Be sure to check out Amikka’s guide to college deadlines!
For specific situations, additional application types exist:
Transfer Applications: For students transferring from one college to another. Deadlines vary per institution.
Art Supplement Applications: Required for many arts programs, showcasing portfolios and artistic achievements.
International Applications: Specific platforms like ApplyTexas or Common App's international section cater to international students.
No matter which platform or timeline you choose, remember that your application is your chance to tell your unique story. Highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, personal experiences, and future aspirations. Proofread meticulously, be authentic in your essays, and don't forget to let your personality shine through.
Bonus Tip: Start planning early! College applications require organization and time. Research colleges, pick the best one for you, brainstorm essay topics, and gather supporting materials well before deadlines hit.