Visit the college/universities you are interested to, if you can. If not, look for a virtual tour on an admissions website.
Don't think about the cost of the college when applying. Think, "I am interested in this college and I want to see if they will accept me and how much financial aid I will be awarded." Then decide!
Most colleges now require you to apply online. There are three types of applications: a college's own application, the Common Application or the Universal College Application. The Common Application and the Universal College Application can be submitted to multiple colleges. Go to the college's admissions website to see which application you may use.
The Common Application has an option on the payment page to request an Application Fee Waiver in place of paying an application fee. Students on financial aid may check with the 4Cs Financial Aid Office to see if they are eligible for an application fee waiver letter. This letter can be used instead of paying the application fee. Send the fee waiver letter to the college through e-mail or mail.
Review the college's admissions webpage to find deadlines and the required information that must be sent. Use it to guide you and as a checklist (Don't just look at the Common Application website for information about applying).
Go to the college financial aid webpage to see deadlines and required forms. The FAFSA financial aid form is accepted by all colleges, and at minimum gives you access to low interest student loans. The CSS/Profile financial aid formis required by some private colleges. The CSS/Profile usually has an earlier deadline than the FAFSA and requires more in-depth financial information. Look at the essay topics, if required. Did you write an essay in one of your classes (English Composition I) that you might revise and submit? Have someone proofread your essay; colleges will be looking at how you write, not just what you write. Check your spelling and grammar; don't just rely on spell-check.
Submit a transcript request form to the 4Cs Registrar's office and that office will send your transcript directly to the college/university(s). Usually you will request twice, once at the beginning of your last semester and at the end of the semester so your final transcript indicating final grades and/or graduation will be sent also.
Request transcripts from any other college(s) you attended and have those transcripts sent directly to the college(s).
If High School or GED/HiSET transcripts are required, contact your high school (or GED/HiSET source) and give them addresses or stamped, addressed envelopes for the colleges.
If SAT scores or ACT scores are required, find out if an official copy is required. If an official score is not required, check with your high school to see if the scores are on your high school transcript.
If you have AP, IB or CLEP credits, check with the colleges to see if they require official AB/IB transcripts.
Some colleges require mid-term grades. If you are applying with the common application, there is a Mid-term Grade Form to print out. If you need a form and are not using the common application, then the transfer office has a mid-term form. Fill out the form and bring it to all your instructors so they can add a grade to the form. You can then make copies of the form and send it to all the colleges that require it.
If Letters of Recommendation (Academic Evaluation) are required, give the person(s) you are asking at least a couple weeks advance notice. If you are using the Common Application, there is an Assign Recommenders page. Fill in the information about the Recommender and an e-mail will be sent to the Recommender through the Common Application. The recommender will send the recommendation through the Common Application. Be sure to ask the recommender before you send the request. If you are not using the Common Application then give the Recommender a stamped, addressed (to the college) envelope for each letter you will need. The recommender will send the letter directly to the college(s).
A few weeks after sending the application(s), contact the college/university(s) and make sure they received all the information you sent. It is up to you to make sure all pieces of your application arrive by the deadline dates (sometimes transcripts and letters of recommendation can arrive after the deadline).
Wait! Each college processes applications differently and respond at different times; don't make a decision until you receive your acceptance letter, a financial aid package and know how your credits transfer.
Deadlines are important but not always firm. If it is beyond a deadline, check with college/university(s) to see if they are still accepting applications.
Most colleges require an admissions deposit, and if applicable, a housing deposit. You must pay the deposit(s) to secure your spot at the university. The deposit is not an extra charge; it will be deducted from your bill. If you can’t afford the deposit, and you expect to receive financial aid, you can check with the admissions office to see if they can use the financial aid for the deposit(s).