Preparing for College

What's involved in filling out a college application?

Question: What's involved in filling out a college application?

College application forms are as different as the institutions that require them. Some application forms are as simple as both sides of one piece of paper. Others look like a small book, with many pages. I have seen some college applications that are 23 pages long, requiring six written statements from the student as well as the usual teacher recommendations and other details. The answer to your question, then, is that it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a week or so of evenings (or longer) to fill out college applications.

As with resumes and job application letters, neatness is a very important factor of your application. The majority of colleges will have no problem with a hand-written application as long as it's readable and free from smudges and erasures. Typing is always a sure way to make a good impression. If you have a computer with a laser or bubble-jet printer--and you know how to use it--you can make an extremely strong impression by formatting your application pages for computer printing.

One of the most important--and most frequently underestimated--is the letter of recommendation.

Some colleges only require one. Others may require two from teachers and one from your counselor. Keeping track of all these administrative details can make the submission of a complex application a very challenging undertaking.