Applying to College Checklist

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The Next Step in Your Student’s Educational Journey

Applying to college is an exciting step for students who are nearing high school graduation. Students have spent their elementary, middle, and high school years building their foundational knowledge and exploring specific interests. Applying to college is a time to showcase what they’ve learned, their ambition, and their passion for the school they’re applying to.

When do you apply to college?

Many students begin applying to college during the summer before their senior year of high school or during the early fall months. If you’re interested in hitting the deadlines for early decision, make sure to check the school’s requirements before applying.

Typically, students take the SAT and ACT exams during their junior year of high school. If your student is interested in re-taking one or both exams, doing so in the fall of their senior year can ensure scores are shared with the appropriate school.

How to Apply to College

Follow these steps for how to apply to college to ensure your student is well-prepared to meet deadlines with thorough application materials.

  • Identify a list of colleges to apply to. This is ideally between five and 10 schools.
  • Make a list of the documents needed: application, financial aid application, recommendations, transcripts, etc.
  • Create a calendar of due dates.
  • Ask for recommendations if needed.
  • Request transcripts from the school counselor.
  • Prepare early decision applications ASAP.
  • Plan any school visits.

Resources for Students Applying to College

There are many types of college scholarships students can apply for. Scholarships are a critical part of paying for college along with financial aid. Learn more about applying to college scholarships including how to find them and how to build a high-impact application.

Your student could be applying to college with a jump start on credits. Eligible K12-powered students can earn college credits in high school through dual-enrollment options. Learn more about the benefits of completing college-level coursework in high school and how to get started.

Each year, graduates of K12-powered schools apply to college and are accepted at hundreds of postsecondary schools nationwide. See the most attended colleges and more information about the benefits of being a K12-powered graduate.

While applying to college, students are also considering what they want to study when they get accepted. What major can help your student on the path toward a fulfilling career? Your student can take this quiz to discover which career paths are most likely to lead to success.

Applying to college begins with a quality K–12 education.

Type your zip code into our School Finder tool to discover the K12-powered online school options near you.