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College Application

Completing applications can be stressful, but it does not have to be. Start early. Try to complete the list of schools you intend to apply to by October 1 (but don’t rule out schools that come to your attention later). You should have a good mix of reach, target and safety schools on your list.


For more college admissions lingo, we put together a list of the most common phrases and terms. 

What's in a College Application

Most schools will require you to submit the following with your application: 



Create an account on the Common App website or the Coalition website. Fill out your information once and you can apply to any of the 900 schools that accept the Common App or the more than 140 that accept the Coalition App. (Note that Georgia Tech accepts the Common App, and UGA accepts both the Common and Coalition Apps). In addition, the Common Black College Application allows you to apply to HBCUs. If a school you’re applying to does not accept any of these, apply directly through that school’s website. Most digital applications allow you to save your work as you go, so you can do a little at a time. You will upload your essay to your account, and teachers and counselors will upload their recommendations.


Check each school’s requirements and deadlines carefully. Some require only the primary essay, but others also require supplemental or short answer essays. Use a spreadsheet to keep up with application deadlines and with essays.

Request Letters of Recommendation. 

Send a transcript. Midtown High uses Parchment to send transcripts to each school electronically. Bonus: if you fill in your information, Parchment estimates your chances of acceptance at any school.

Send test scores. At many schools, test scores are optional. But if you are submitting them, visit the SAT or ACT website to request that they be sent to each school you’re applying to. You may have already designated some schools to receive your scores when you took the test.

Pay the application fee. There is usually a separate application fee for each school. You may receive a fee waiver if you qualify for free / reduced lunch. Ask your counselor.

  • Official transcript

  • ACT or SAT test scores (if required)

  • Possible interview (do it, if offered!)

  • Essay(s)

  • Letters of Recommendation

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