Easy Steps to a Successful College Application Process: Creating a To-Do List

A college degree is a great investment in your future. But applying to universities can be an overwhelming process, especially if you don’t have parents or siblings who have been through it before and can offer advice. With so many tasks, such as writing essays and obtaining letters of recommendation, experts say that one good way for students to start the application process is by creating a “to-do list” during their junior year of high school. In this blog post we will discuss how you can make sure that when the time comes, your to-do list will be ready.

Learn more about our International College Bridge Program that is designed to help students manage the admissions process, get into their dream university, and make their parents proud.

To-Do List

Experts say that it’s important for students to start the college application process during their junior year of high school. That way, they have enough time to complete all of the tasks required for admission, such as writing essays and obtaining letters of recommendation. One great way to keep track of everything is by creating a “to-do list.”

To do list for us university application procedure

The following are some tips for creating a to-do list that will help you through the college application process:

1. First, make a list of all the colleges you are interested in.

2. Next, research each school and compile a list of what is required for admission (essays, letters of recommendation, etc.).

3. After that, create a list of tasks you need to complete for each college on your interest list.

4. Finally, prioritize the items on your lists so it is clear which task is most important at any given time.

Once you have your to-do list ready, it is time to start working on each task. Make sure that you prioritize them so that the most important ones are completed first, and always double-check everything before submitting an application or sending a letter of recommendation. Remember that creating a successful college application process requires organization and planning ahead – but once you’ve completed the task list, you will be ready for anything that comes your way!

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Which College Application Platform Should I Use?

High school student filling us university application on laptop.

It is important for students to start the college application process during their junior year of high school.

The US university application procedure is not the same for every school. While many schools use an online platform, such as The Common Application or Apply Texas, others have their own system that students must navigate to apply.

For example, New York University uses its very own website where students can fill out forms and upload documents rather than using a third-party platform.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to choosing a college application platform, but students should do their research and look into the requirements for each of their prospective schools before selecting what method they’ll use.

Some things you might want to consider when picking an online platform are:

  1. Does the platform ask for essays, letters of recommendation, or transcripts?
  2. How user-friendly is the website/application? Is it easy to navigate and complete the required forms?
  3. Can I save my progress and come back to it later?
  4. Is there a fee to use the application platform?
  5.  Is there college Essay Prompts?

As part of the application process, most colleges require students to submit at least one writing sample: the college essay. This is sometimes referred to as a personal statement. There’s usually a word limit of around several hundred words for a personal statement. The main essay on the Common App should be around 650 words. Regardless of which application platform they use, students will usually have multiple essay prompts to choose from.

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Personal Information

When it comes to the college application process, there are many different things students need to be aware of and prepare for. In addition to filling out the required forms and submitting transcripts and letters of recommendation, here are some other key components to keep in mind:

  • Personal information: In the first portion of a college application, students will have to provide basic information about themselves, their school, and their family.
  • High School transcript: Colleges will also ask for an official high school transcript, which is a record of the courses students have taken and the grades they have earned. Admissions offices typically ask that a transcript be sent directly from the high school rather than through transcripts sent by the student.
  • SAT/ACT scores: Most colleges also require students to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of their application. These standardized tests help admissions officers compare applicants from all over the country.
  • Essay: The college essay is one of the most important parts of the application process. This is your opportunity to show admission officers why you would be a good fit for their school, and it’s also your chance to share some of your interests and experiences. Many students find this part of the process intimidating, but if you start early it will be much easier to create an essay that is personal, specific, and written in your own voice.

5 steps of US University application procedure.

Letters of Recommendation

You’ll need letters of recommendation when you apply to colleges. These are a perfect opportunity for former teachers or mentors who can speak to your character and academic abilities to share their thoughts with schools. If you are concerned about asking for letters of recommendation, keep in mind that it’s not too late until the application deadline passes. You can also ask someone who knows you personally instead of an educator if you prefer.”

Essay

The college essay is one of the most important parts of the application process. This is your opportunity to show admission officers why you would be a good fit for their school, and it’s also your chance to share some of your interests and experiences. Many students find this part of the process intimidating, but if you start early it will be much easier to create an essay that is personal, specific, and written in your own voice.

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Which Essay Prompts Should I Choose?

It’s smart to start early and think about what kinds of essays you want to write before deciding on your top choices. The following are some prompts that you may encounter:

  • Why do you want to attend this school?
  • What are your academic and career goals?
  • How has your family or community contributed to who you are today?
  • Discuss a personal achievement or experience.
  • Describe a challenge you’ve faced and how you coped with it.
  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • What are your favorite books, movies, or music?

It’s important to remember that the essay prompts are just suggestions – you don’t have to answer any of them exactly as they’re written. If one of the prompts doesn’t speak to you, try choosing another one that is more suited to your interests.

Which Parts of the Application Are Most Important?

 Smart female student going through an interview in a US university application procedure.

The Interview is a chance to show off their personality and engage in conversation.

The Interview

Most colleges also require applicants to participate in an interview with a member of the admissions staff. This is a great opportunity for students to ask any questions they have about the school, and it can also be a chance to show off their personality and engage in conversation with someone from the college. This is now arguably the most important part of the application process – to ascertain the total student, as it is called.

Learn more about our International College Bridge Program that is designed to help students manage the admissions process, get into their dream university, and make their parents proud.

Deadlines

One of the most important things to remember when applying to universities is that there are many different deadlines. For example, some schools require students to apply by a certain date in order to be considered for scholarships, while others have an earlier deadline for admission. Make sure you know when each application is due so you can plan accordingly and don’t miss any important deadlines.

Cost

How Much Do College Application Fees Cost?

There’s no set price for college application fees, which experts say typically range from $50 to $90 per application, though costs can stretch upward of $100 in some instances. Prospective students should check college websites to determine these individual fees.

How Can I Get a College Application Fee Waiver?

There are several ways students from low-income families can submit college applications for free.

Students who received SAT or ACT test fee waivers are eligible for college application fee waivers from the testing companies. The College Board also waives fees if students meet certain requirements, such as participating in an official school program that helps disadvantaged youth. Finally, students can get their fees waived by contacting the financial aid office at their preferred school.

College is an exciting time in your life. The transition to college can be hard, though, especially if you’re not prepared or don’t know what to expect. This article will walk you through the process of making a list and planning ahead for everything that goes into applying for US university admission. We’ve also included some tips on how to save money by getting us application fee waivers so you won’t have any unexpected surprises when it’s time to submit your applications.

Smart female student going through an interview in a US university application procedure.

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Summary

The college application process is not something that can be easily tackled in a single night. There are many different parts to it and it is important to start early and go step by step with a plan so that you don’t miss any deadlines or have any surprises come up at the last minute.

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About Author

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Jeremiah O`Brian
Master Teacher  | USC School of Dramatic Arts

Jeremiah O’Brian is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. His exceptionally diverse background – from gritty nuts-and-bolts firefighting to film and theatre credits and accolades – is bolstered by his several graduate degrees.

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