To apply for college, visit the school's website or call the admissions office to determine which type of application the college requires and where you can access it. As of 2015, over 500 colleges use the Common Application, while others use their own online or paper applications.
The Common Application enables prospective students to fill out one application and send it to as many participating colleges as they wish, rather than filling out a separate application for each school. The application features fields for entering objective information, such as the student's standardized test scores, and also requires an essay and letters of recommendation to help schools take a more holistic approach to selecting students to admit. Some schools require a separate document called a Common App Supplement, which features additional questions that applicants must answer..
Applications for colleges that do not use the Common Application can vary substantially based on the school, but it is common for an application to require applicants to include their basic information, intended major and information about any past criminal offenses. Additionally, schools usually require that applicants submit their high school or former college transcripts, immunization records, standardized test scores and an application fee. Students applying for in-state tuition to state schools may also have to submit proof of residence.