The college application process can seem daunting, especially for students and families going through it for the first time. The U.S. News Apply to College guide offers answers to assist you, from tips if you are just beginning to brainstorm essay topics to advice on what to do if you’ve been placed on a waitlist.
Choose your topic area of interest in the guide below — including the college essay, extracurricular activities, standardized tests, admissions deadlines, waitlists and transferring — and you’ll see a list of articles filled with advice on how to effectively navigate that part of the application process
How Do I Apply to College?
To apply to college, keep in mind that you need to start early in high school and do your research to find the right fit. The following articles offer advice on how to get in to college.
What Are the Different Types of Colleges and Where Should I Apply?
From smaller liberal arts colleges to bigger public universities, you have a lot of school types to consider. Here’s what to keep in mind about applying to different schools.
How Do I Write a College Essay?
Use the college essay to give admissions officers insight into who you are. The tips in these articles will help you tackle the application essay with confidence.
What Kind of Extracurricular Activities Can Help Me Get Into College?
Whether you’re involved in a club or have a job, colleges want to know how you spend time outside of the classroom. Read on to learn about the role of extracurricular activities in college applications.
How Important Are Standardized Test Scores?
Schools have varying policies when it comes to admissions tests like the SAT and ACT. Here’s what you need to know about college entrance exams.
What Do I Need to Know About Recommendation Letters?
Applications typically require recommendation letters written by people who know you well. Read the following articles to find out who, when and how to ask for letters.
When Are College Application Deadlines?
Some colleges offer early decision or early action admissions, in which you apply early and receive a response before other applicants. In general, though, most colleges have a January deadline for regular applications. These articles compare the different application deadlines: early action, early decision, regular decision and rolling admissions.
What Are Tips for Applying as an International Student?
Applying to U.S. universities as an international student can be challenging. The articles below can help you understand the admissions process if you’re applying from abroad.
What If I Apply and Am Put on a Waitlist?
A college may put you on a waitlist and not offer you a spot until after the typical May 1 decision deadline. Here’s what you need to know if you’re wait-listed.
What Do I Need to Know When Transferring Schools?
Transferring may make sense if your college isn’t a good fit or you want to finish a degree at a four-year school after community college. Read tips below on transferring schools.
Best Colleges Rankings
For students who need help narrowing down the list of colleges and universities to apply to, the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings can serve as a good starting point.