What components are in a typical college application?
College applications consist of the application itself, transcripts, and test scores.  Some schools would like an essay and/or letter of recommendation.  Whether you do a paper or an online application, the college will tell you what you need to complete the application.

Is it better to do a paper or online application?
Paper applications are less preferred but are still available.  Colleges like online applications because it makes the decision process more efficient and therefore you will receive a decision quicker.  If you do an online application, the student must tell the guidance office to send the transcripts and other needed materials.  

How do I send the transcripts?
There are two parts to sending transcripts:
  1. Transcript release form
    The transcript release form is needed because it gives us permission to send out the transcripts; if we do not have it we can not send the transcript.  If the student is under 18, then the parent/guardian must give consent; if the student is over 18, then the student can give consent. (Can be found on the guidance webpage or in the guidance office)
  2. Naviance & Guidance Request form  
    All students have a Naviance account where students can do college and career searches and request to have transcripts and teacher recommendations sent electronically. (If you don't have an username and password, please see Mrs. Wittreich)  All seniors will be trained on how to do this in September.  Students will be able to track the progress of their request and will typically receive a decision quicker than through regular mail.

How do I send the ACT/SAT scores?
There are two ways to send scores. First, have the scores sent directly from the testing agency.  Every school has a code that allows the testing agencies to send scores directly to them.  If the student knows where he/she will be applying then it is a good idea to send the scores directly there.

The second way is to have Edgewood send it.  We automatically put any test scores that we have on the student's transcript unless told otherwise.  In order for the school to put the scores on the transcript, we need to receive them as well.  Just like each college has its own code, Edgewood had its own code as well.  Our code is 360 220

Who should I ask for a letter of recommendation?
The letter of recommendation should come from a teacher, coach, mentor, etc. who knows you and can atest to you as a student and person.  The recommendation should add to your application not just restate what is on the transcript. Also, if you already know what you are majoring in, try to have a recommendation come from someone in that field.  For example, if you want to be a Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, or anything else in the medical field, a letter from a science would be ideal.  If you want to study psychology, history, or pre-law a history teacher would be a great person to ask.  If journalism, English, or political science an English teacher would be someone to ask.  Even if you do not need a letter for an application, it is still a good idea to have one on file because it can be used for scholarships and even job applications.

How do I know if the college has received everything?
The best action to take is to call the admissions office and ask for your application status to be checked.  Some schools will send an e-mail to you stating if everything is in or if something is missing.  Some schools allow you to check online.  On average, it takes about two weeks for all parts of the application to be processed.  

When will I know if I have been accepted?
It depends on what type of admissions procedure the school has. 
 
Rolling Admissions:  This is the most common admissions procedure.  Schools who have rolling admissions make a decision once all parts of the application is in.  Generally, there is a deadline date, but that just means you have to have the application in by that time. The rolling admissions decision generally takes two to four weeks.   
 
Early Action:  Generally, the application deadline is in October or November.  Applying Early Actions means that the student wants to know earlier than everyone else.  Admissions decision will not be made until after the application deadline.  The admissions counselors look at these applications more critically, meaning it can be more difficult to be accepted under Early Action. If the student does not receive admission under early action, it generally does not mean that he/she will not be admitted.  The application is then placed in with the regular decision. Early Action is not a binding decision.
 
Early Decision: Similar to Early Action in that there is an earlier deadline, the application will not be looked at until after the deadline, and that application is look at more critically. However, the most important difference is the decision is binding.  If the student is admitted under this status, then he/she must remove applications to other colleges. Only one application should be done in this manner. 
 
Regular Decision:  The last date to get an application into a college.  Some colleges will list regular decision and let you know within two to four weeks.   For elite colleges ,they will wait until after deadline date to make any decision. 

What do I do after I have been accepted?
The next step is financial aid.  In order to receive financial aid a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be filled out.  This form cannot be completed until after October 1st of the senior year.  The reason is that you will need your income tax information in order to file. The FAFSA can be filled out online and FSA ID will be needed for both the parent/guardian and the student.  Just like with the college applications, by applying online it will make the process quicker.  For more information, go to our Financial Aid page.

When do I have to make a decision by?
Most colleges use May 1st as the deadline for intent to enroll.  By making a down payment on either the tuition or housing, you are notifying the college that you will be attending.  If you make a down payment and decide not to attend before May 1st, most colleges will give the down payment back.  If you decide after May 1st, most colleges will not refund the down payment.  It is best to check with each college for their dates and refund guidelines.
Related Links

Related Links iconRelated Linkstitle

  1. http://www.actstudent.org 
    To find dates, locations, register, prepare and other information for the ACT click on the link above.
  2. http://www.fafsa.ed.gov 
    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - information regarding and/or to apply for financial aid for college.
  3. http://www.fastweb.com 
    Fastweb allows the student to do a scholarship search.
  4. College Board 
    Students can register for the SAT here and it also has tools to assist students in their college search.
  5. College Grazing 
    Has quizzes that will help students discover if they are ready for college, what areas they are strong in and what areas they need to improve on. At the end a printout is available that sumamrizes all the quizzes. The best part is that it is free.