General College Information

  • Types of Applications:

                The Common App

    • Online application accepted by nearly 700 colleges and universities
    • Can save time when applying for college if multiple colleges that you are planning on applying to use it

                The Coalition App

    • Newer alternative to the Common App, used by just over 70 schools - generally more prestigious schools
    • Includes a “locker” feature, which allows students to upload materials over the course of their four years in high school

                College Specific, Online Application

    • Individual application to the college, submitted entirely online
    • May or may not have a fee associated

                College Specific, Paper Application

    • Individual application to the college, submitted through the mail
    • Very few circumstances that require a paper application
    • Occasionally a fee can be avoided by using the online application rather than the paper application


    Types of Deadlines:

                Early Decision is binding. You commit to one school, and if you get in, you are


    Early Action is non-binding. You apply early, receive a decision early, and can decide to either attend or not.

    Regular Decision is the standard deadline, and you will receive a decision around April 1.

    Priority Deadline is the deadline to be considered for scholarships (if you want to be considered for scholarships, you want to apply by this date).

    Rolling means there is no deadline.  You can apply whenever and usually hear within four to six weeks. Often, there is a priority deadline in tandem with rolling admissions.


    Parts of an Application:

    Note: not all applications will include all of the pieces listed below




    Information Forms

    Demographics, contact information, etc.


    Determines academic ability

    Test Scores

    Determines predictive college success

    Letters of Recommendation

    Determines behavior in the classroom and personal characteristics

    Personal Essay

    Exposes personality of applicant

    Summary of Activities

    Divulges involvement and time-management skills


    Divulges specialty skills/in-person mannerisms