The typical university application process includes submitting academic records and transcripts, recommendations from teachers or other professionals, standardized college entrance test scores, a personal statement or essay, and an application fee. As of August 2015, many universities use the Common Application, an online system allowing students to submit this information to one source while applying to multiple colleges. However, each school may have different application requirements and deadlines.
Students should take considerable time to prepare college applications and be careful to follow the instructions for each school, according to The Princeton Review. Academic records from each high school or college previously attended, standardized test scores and recommendations from teachers should be requested well in advance of any application deadline. Personal statements and essays should be well-crafted and proofread.
Applicants using the Common Application to apply to one of over 500 different universities can establish an account online by creating a user name and password. Students applying to universities that do not use the Common Application need to submit separate application materials to those schools. Students should begin the college application process at the start of their senior year of high school and plan to complete all testing requirements before that November, according to The Union.