Applying to College
Once you have decided on the schools to which you are going to apply, the next step is to actually complete the applications. Many schools have fall applications deadlines, so seniors should start the process early. Also, many schools require that students apply before November 1 for students to be considered for merit-based scholarships. For a document that contains 2014-2015 admissions information for Indiana colleges, click here.
Things To Do
- Review the colleges' admissions standards to be sure you will qualify for admission. Different colleges have different standards for incoming freshmen. Colleges will want you to have taken certain classes to show your academic preparation, they will likely take your GPA into account when considering you for admission, they will be looking to see how your standardized test (e.g. SAT, ACT) scores stack up, and they will probably want you to have been involved in extracurricular activities of some kind during your high school career.
- Investigate merit scholarships available through the college. Many colleges offer merit scholarships based on applicants' academic, athletic, or artistic qualifications. These scholarships are awarded by the college itself, and the college may or may not have a separate scholarship application for interested students to complete.
- Know what other materials will need to be sent with the application. Does the college require teacher or counselor recommendations? Will you need to write an essay? Does South Putnam need to send them a copy of your transcript or senior year schedule? Will you need to send them your SAT or ACT scores? The answers to all of these questions will most likely be "YES."
- Complete their application. Start early. Give yourself lots of time. If you will need recommendations from teachers or a transcript from the guidance office, give those people at least two weeks to complete those forms.
It is not possible for the guidance office to know the admissions requirements for every college in which you may be interested. Your best bet is to check the admissions office website of the college you are considering. There you will find the answers to your questions, contact information for admissions counselors, and in many cases the application in both an electronic and PDF format. For a list of college websites (from which you can then find admissions), click here.
The Common App
A growing number of colleges and universities are using the Common App as a major part of their application process. The Common App is used by many schools that claim to take a "holistic" approach to admissions. This means that they try and assess applicants as whole people rather than solely through data like GPA and standardized test scores. The Common App will ask for educational and standardized test information, but it will also ask for personal information about you and your family, you academic honors and extracurricular activities, you work experience, a personal essay, and if you have a criminal history. Many colleges will also ask you to write a supplemental essay for them specifically. A further benefit of the Common App is that the same application (with the exception of any supplemental essays) may be used to apply to multiple colleges.