An Overview of Admission Requirements at us Colleges and Universities

You want to go to college? You have an application? The application itself is a gaggle of giggles to fill out, but the real fun starts once you’re done.

Depending on the school, they’ll want one or two sealed copies of your transcript. Make sure that what you get from your school is a sealed envelope, preferably with something stamped, or a signature, across the bottom of the flap, so that the school can tell it hasn’t been opened and altered. I’d also pick up an unsealed copy of your transcript, so you can copy information like class rank and GPA directly from the source, so there’s no chance of making a mistake.

Then we come to letters of recommendation. Check what the university wants. Some want a letter from a school counselor; some want specific teachers, math and science for instance; others don’t specify. If they don’t specify, choose the person who you think will be the most enthusiastic. A great letter from a high school teacher beats a form letter from a college professor. Also, if they don’t specify, it doesn’t have to be from a teacher at all. A boss from a part time job, an editor for a newspaper you contribute to, an advisor for a school project, or an independent one. Any adult who isn’t related to you, but has spent substantial time with you, who likes and respects you, will work.

SAT or ACT test results. You’ll need to share. It should be on your transcript. You want to make sure that what you write on the application and what’s on the transcript are the same number. You do not want it to look like you’re trying to trick them, or that you’re incompetent.

Finally, a lot of places want an essay or two. Make sure you don’t exceed the word limit and, I cannot emphasize this enough, PROOF READ the entire essay and the entire application. You do not want their first impression of you to be, Good ideas, good grades, but careless’. That doesn’t get you in.

The final steps were the hardest, at least for me. Sending it away. Forcing myself to stop proof reading. Also, I checked to make sure I had the address right about twenty times. Then waiting, very unpleasant. Finally opening the response envelope.

That’s my advice, from my experience. Best of luck to you.