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PREPARING  COLLEGE  APPLICATIONS
Dear Student:
Preparing these College Applications could be exciting and also overwhelming!   However, it requires a lot of patience and hard work.  So get ready.   

INTRODUCTION  
We hope you visited the site Choosing Your Colleges and that you have selected the colleges you wish to apply for admission. You can use our comprehensive searches to narrow down your choices and select colleges that fit your needs and suit your interests.  see Search  Then for each of those selected colleges, visit BestSchoolsUSA.com's Internet web site College Survey to gather information on the colleges that interest you.  We have provided a great deal of information at this site.  Here the various colleges have provided in depth information on their 'Freshmen College Admission Policies' unique to each institution.  

PREPARE A RESUME FOR REFERENCE  
It is a good idea to prepare a resume as a reference when preparing various applications.  Include in it all your extracurricular activities and achievements including sports and athletics, volunteer work, your special talents and interests, and the awards and recognition you received - especially during your high school years. You should also include as a separate addition the references you are going to use, who will provide you with strong recommendation letters for college - see Tips on Recommendation Letters.  

STANDARDIZED TESTS  
Many colleges require that you take the ACT, SAT I, SAT II, and TOEFL.  See College Survey at Question # 51 for your college.  TOEFL is an English test for international students.  The weight that each of the colleges put on these tests compared to grades and other factors are laid out at College Survey at Question # 50.  The colleges want the test scores sent directly to them within a certain date.  Therefore, take the tests as required by the various colleges in advance and make arrangements with the testing agencies to have the test scores forwarded directly to the colleges where you are applying.  You have to pay for these tests, the fees vary depending on the test.  You can take these tests multiple times, and have the best scores sent to the colleges.  However, some colleges consider only the best out of your first three attempts.  

APPLICATION FORMS  
To find out where and how to obtain the applications, visit College Survey at Question # 44, 45, 46, 47. 48, and 49.  The application must be neatly typed or hand printed.  For some colleges you can apply online at their Internet web site.  See College Survey at Question # 46, 47, 48, and 49. Using our search you can find Colleges which offer applications on the Internet.   see Search   Also you can use our search to find Colleges where completed application can be filed on the Internet. 

APPLICATION FEES  
To find out the Application fees, please visit College Survey at Question # 45.  For those who can't afford to pay the college application fees, colleges will waive the fees provided they submit the financial aid application form along with it and make a request to waive the fees.  

FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS  
We have provided comprehensive information on Financial Aid and Scholarships as well as numerous useful links at  Financial Aid & Scholarships.  There are separate application forms for applying for financial aid.  If you request, the colleges will send you the proper forms.  Additionally, there are deadlines for applying for various kinds of financial aids and scholarships, and it is best to check with the respective colleges' admission and financial aid offices to get the correct information and the forms.  See College Survey at Question # 36, 37, 38, and 49.  These questions also reveal whether these colleges follow a need-blind admission policy.  Using our search you can find Colleges which award Scholarships, Assistantships, and Financial Aid; Colleges which offer scholarship and financial aid applications on the Internet;  and Colleges where you can Apply Online for Scholarships and Financial Aid. see Search  

COLLEGE ESSAY  
Writing the College Essay is detailed at Writing the College Essay

RECOMMENDATION LETTERS  
It is explained in detail at Getting Recommendation Letters about getting good recommendation letters for admission.  

COLLEGE INTERVIEWS  
Check to see if college interviews are required or advisable and also who conducts the interviews for the school by visiting College Survey at Question # 56.  Regarding the actual interviews see Interviews .  

TYPES OF ADMISSION OPTIONS & DEADLINES 

There are several types of admission procedures or 'Admission Decisions' for applying to colleges. They are - 'Regular Admission/Action/Decision', 'Early Action', 'Early Decision', 'Early Decision II', and 'Rolling Admission'. Some colleges DEMAND that if you apply to them under certain of these types of Admission/Decision options, you are prohibited from even applying to any other colleges while your application is pending at that institution!!! See our comprehensive Search 

Each College uses one or more of these types of Admission/decision options, and that too with variations. Please check what each college offers and what their requirements are for the colleges of your choice at College Survey at Question # 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 57, 58, 59, and 60. See Search 

Colleges also have different application deadlines for each of these types of admissions/decisions and also whether any decisions they make are binding on you, etc. Check these at College Survey at Question # 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 57, 58, 59, and 60. 

Further, it is very important that you must absolutely adhere to the application deadlines for each college for these various types of admission options.  Please note that for some colleges, the completed applications MUST BE RECEIVED AT THOSE COLLEGES by the application deadline; while for others it MUST BE POSTMARKED BY the application deadline!! 

For 'REGULAR ADMISSION/DECISION', the colleges review most of the applications prior to notifying a majority of the applicants their decision on admission.  The applicants who have been accepted under such a process have to notify the colleges of their commitments to attend usually before May 1st. 

Under 'EARLY ACTION' applicants have to apply much earlier usually before November 1st, and they are notified by mid-December of the colleges' decision.  However, the accepted applicants have until end of April to notify the college of their commitment to attend. 

For 'EARLY DECISION', colleges DEMAND that if you apply to them under of this type of Admission/Decision option, you are prohibited from applying to any other colleges under "Early Decision" while your application is pending at that institution!!  So be careful.  Further, they demand that if they accept you under this type of admission, the decision is binding; i.e., you have to enroll in that college only and you have no other choice, and you cannot apply to any other college.  You have to apply early, around October, the decision on your application is made sometime in mid-December, and you are notified usually around that time.  If you are accepted, the decision is binding, however, you will know by December where you are going to college next year and you don't have to worry about any more applications. 

'EARLY DECISION II' is similar to 'Early Decision' above, except the application deadline is a little later and the decision on acceptance is also made a little later.  However, all other conditions are essentially the same. 

For 'ROLLING ADMISSIONS', the colleges review the completed applications as they arrive and decisions on admissions are rendered soon thereafter and the applicant is notified.  Applicants who are accepted can still apply to other colleges, but they have to notify the college of their commitment decision by a fixed deadline. 

A REMINDER 
Most colleges and your high school guidance counselors would advise you not to apply for 'Early Admissions' to colleges that are your "reach Schools" arguing that colleges only select those students who completely fit their profile for 'Early Admissions' and it is difficult to get accepted under 'Early Admission'.  They would say it is only for the best students. 

HOWEVER, in reality, many colleges which are your reach schools, may select you under 'Early Admission' but will refuse you under 'Regular Admission' !  Therefore, you may have a better chance to get accepted under 'Early Admission' than under the 'Regular Admission'. 

SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS  
High Schools charge various amounts of fees for sending your school transcripts to the colleges to which you are applying.  Quite often, the more colleges you apply to, the higher the fees per school transcript.  Check with your school counselor, pay the required fees in advance and make all the necessary arrangements so that your school transcripts will reach the colleges in time.  

COMPLETING THE APPLICATION  
If you enclose a self-addressed stamped post card (with your return address) with your completed application, the colleges will acknowledge receipt of your application by stamping it and returning it to you.  Make a complete copy of all the papers you are sending to each college so that you will have a record of what you send to each school and it will help you to refer back in case any questions arise later.  
Using our search you can find Colleges which offer applications on the Internet.   see Search   Also you can use our search to find Colleges where completed application can be filed on the Internet. 

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE/REJECTION  
The colleges let you know if you have been accepted or rejected for admission to the college.  See College Survey at Question # 44 and 60 to find out when.  

WAITING LIST  
Many colleges keep a waiting list for applicants who are on the borderline according to their criteria.  Those candidates on the waiting list are usually notified of the colleges' final decision soon after May 1st, after seeing the vacancies that arise from selected applicants who have refused the offer of admission.  

COLLEGE TUITION  
Please visit the College Survey at Question # 34, to find out the college tuition for the colleges you are interested in.  

DORMITORY AND BOARDING FACILITIES  &  FEES  
Please review the College Survey at Question # 16, 17, 18, and 19 to find out about the dormitory and residency facilities and requirements for the colleges you are interested in.  Please visit College Survey at Question # 35, to find out about the boarding facilities and fees for the colleges you are interested in.  

YOUR COMMITMENT LETTER  
You should notify the college, which you have elected to enroll, by letter, on or before the deadline for acceptance set down by the respective college.  You may also be required to pay a part of the tuition fees and also the dormitory and boarding fees soon thereafter to assure you a seat for the upcoming academic year.  

PLEASE NOTE:  This information is presented here for Freshmen College Applicants to avail themselves of this material when they are preparing to apply for freshmen admission to various colleges in the USA.  The information is displayed at this web site: BestSchoolsUSA.com accessible and FREE to any individual interested in applying to colleges in USA for said individual's personal use.  No other use - for commercial or any other purpose - is permitted without the express written consent of BestSchoolsUSA.com. 

We hope that these tips have helped you prepare and apply to that college or university that you desire and we hope that BestSchoolsUSA.com has brought you one step closer to getting into that college or university of your choice.   GOOD LUCK!!!    

For comments, please contact us.

BestSchoolsUSA.com                June 1, 1999; Revised March 20, 2000.            



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