For many people the process of selecting a college to attend, and then applying, is a clear cut direct process because they have other people around who can show them how it’s done and then help them along the way. For other people however, the process can seem mysterious, or even scary because of all the formality that seems to be involved. If you are someone in this position, fear not, it isn’t all that complicated or difficult.
To figure out which college you’d like to go to, you first have to look at what you can afford. If money is no object, then you really don’t need any advice here. For everyone else though, money is almost always a consideration. The fact is, it costs more to go to college at some schools than at others. The big name ones you’ve likely heard of usually cost the most. Also there is the issue of in-state or out of state tuition whereby some colleges charge less if you happen to be a resident of the state where the college resides. You can find out what the tuition rates are by doing searches online.
Then, once you’ve pared down your list of possibilities, you next need to consider what sort of degree you are after as many schools are structured by type of degree. For example, if you’d like to become a computer scientist or engineer, you’d most likely want to go to a technically oriented school such as MIT or Cal Tech.
Also, if your budget is too small for such schools you might want to consider state universities where the costs are typically lower. And if even those seem to cost too much, you might consider starting out by going to a community college near where you live; they are generally the least expensive option.
Then, once you’ve picked out which school, or schools you think you’d like to attend, you can either go visit the campus of each, if you have the time or money, or you can write to the registrar’s office and ask for an application for admission.
Once you get your application, you will need to read the guidelines very carefully as most colleges have minimum requirements for even applying. The most important of which, is usually your high school grade point average. Also, you probably will need to take the SAT test as a lot of schools won’t even let you apply without it; which means there will be a certain level of success on the SAT expected for consideration for admission as well.
If you are certain you meet all the qualifications, then go ahead and fill it out and send it in, but know that you are still not guaranteed admission as your application will be taken and reviewed and for some schools compared with other students applying; this is because for some schools, more students apply then there is room for. For these schools, you will likely also have to write some sort of easy that you will send along with your application explaining why the school should select you.
And then, you send the whole package back to the school and then start waiting to hear back from them on whether you have been accepted or not.