Private and Out-of-State Universities
- Most applications are available in August (of senior year).
- Private colleges and universities have their own admissions requirements.
- Admissions deadlines may vary by institution.
- Visit the school’s website.
Explore nearly 900 colleges and universities using this link to the Common App.
Get tips and best practices to give yourself the best chance at success by using this link to the Application Guide for First-Time Students
Steps to prepare your app (during senior year):
1. Gather materials
The information you'll need to complete your applications - copy of your high school transcript, a list of activities, work, and family responsibilities, test scores and dates (SATs, ACTs, etc.), parent/legal guardian information, academic honors and achievements
2. Create an account as a first-year student using this link: Create an Account
3. Start building your “My Colleges” list.
4. Engage supporters
All colleges need things like official school forms. Many colleges will also ask for letters of recommendation. Counselors, teachers and recommenders will submit these kinds of forms on your behalf. The application guide gives you types of recommenders you can invite.
Every college gets to choose their own recommendation requirements. You can find more details on each college's "College Information" page.
5. Understand the requirements
It's important to stay organized as you work on your applications. Each college needs you to complete common questions and add counselor. Beyond that their applications vary. Each college can determine their unique requirements for: deadlines, application fees, personal essay, courses & grades, test policy, portfolio, writing supplements, and recommendations. Visit the application guide for places where you can find each college's specific requirements.
6. Plan essays
Sometimes writing essays can feel like the biggest part of your application. With a little bit of planning, organizing, and drafting, Common App can help make this task more manageable. It is important to check with each college as to what writings they require: Common App Personal Essay, college-specific questions, and/or writing supplements.
7. Submit your application
Review your application
Paying the application fee
Submitting your application
Need Help with your application? The Applicant Solutions Center can help! Click Here for support