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The College Application Process

Let us guide you through the college application process

You’ve found your top schools—and now it’s time to apply. The college application process can feel overwhelming at first. But don’t worry. We’ve got the information and resources to guide you through.

Read the Application Instructions

A successful application starts with reading the instructions.

Go to each school’s website. Click on “prospective students” or “admissions” to find application instructions. Read them carefully. Then, make a list of everything required as part of the application—and the deadline for each.

Colleges may ask for:

  • An application form
  • An application essay
  • High school transcripts
  • Standardized test scores (SAT or ACT)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • An interview
  • Additional information as needed (such as a portfolio if you’re applying to an art school or a home-school supplement if you’ve been homeschooled)


To stay organized, download our college admissions checklist (PDF).  download icon

Or, for more in-depth guidance, download our college admissions toolkit (PDF).  download icon

Fill Out the Application Form

The college application form includes information about you—including financial, academic, extracurricular, and employment information. Each college will likely give you 3 options for submitting this information:

  1. An online application on the school’s website
  2. A paper form on the site (usually a PDF that you can print out and submit by mail)
  3. A link to the Common Application—an online form accepted by more than 400 colleges (including many Vermont schools)

Fill Out the Application Waiver Form

Schools may charge anywhere between $10 and $100 to process application forms, though some schools will not charge a fee if you apply online.

You may be able to avoid paying these fees. Simply print out the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) fee waiver form (found on the NACAC website) and submit it along with your application.

Get Started on Your Essay

Get tips for making your essay stand out from the crowd.


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