Applying for College

How To Apply for College

Be realistic – Research colleges that are likely to accept you.  The links to all of the Utah colleges and universities can be found by clicking on the “College/University Resources” link in the right column.
Admissions Index – Know your admissions index score before you apply.  Click on the “admissions index” link on the right.
Apply – Apply online.  Most college applications will automatically make you eligible for academic scholarships.  BEWARE:  Some colleges may have a separate application for scholarships.  Read directions carefully!!!  If you have questions, your counselor would be happy to help you through the application process.  Sample College Application: USU Application
Be aware of deadlines – Take note of colleges’ priority and final deadlines for application.  The earlier you apply, the more likely your chances are of being awarded a scholarship.  Always apply BEFORE the priority deadline!!!
Test Scores – Most colleges need a copy of your ACT or SAT test scores.  You can request your scores be sent to up to 6 different colleges at the time of testing.  DO NOT ASSUME YOUR MOST RECENT TEST SCORE IS ON YOUR TRANSCRIPT.
Send official transcript – You can order official transcripts two ways:  online at or you can pick up a transcript request form in the counseling office.  Each transcript is $1.00 and must be paid at the time of the request.
Letter of Recommendation – Give the person you select to write your letter plenty of time to prepare (at least 2 weeks), and provide them with a copy of your resume’.


Tips to Getting into a University
 1. Take a challenging course load.  You will want to take 4 years of math, science, English, social studies, and in most cases, 2-4 years of a foreign language.
2. Excellent test scores are crucial.  Learn about the ACT and SAT and how to take a standardized test.
3. Work on your writing skills.
4. Research your college or university and know how your career interests and their academic programs match up.
5. Make positive impressions with teachers, counselors and community leaders who will know your strengths, as you will need several letters of recommendation.
6. Prepare yourself in other areas so you will have extras to add to your application. (i.e. volunteer work, personal development, talents, extracurricular activities, academic awards, work  experience, etc.)
7.  Keep track of transcripts, extracurricular activities, work experience, volunteer work, etc.
8.  Develop an attitude of excellence in everything you do.
9.  Be able to communicate effectively in an interview situation.
10. Spend summers doing a project, internship, seminars, or something that will make you a stronger candidate for admission.
10 Suggestions for Putting Together an Excellent Application
1. Research relevant information:  Your time is valuable during your senior year.  Decide on those scholarship applications whose descriptions most closely match your skills and abilities.  Stop and assess.  If the scholarship program states that all of its applicants can juggle and you have never attempted this activity, then the application may not be worth your time.
2. Deadlines:  Give yourself plenty of time for the many applications you will complete.  Create personal deadlines and stick to them.
3. Accuracy:  You’ve been asked to be accurate since you entered 1st grade.  This is the time to put that competency into action.  Every application is different, read instructions.
4. Attitude:  Only you can determine how you will come across on paper.  You are you own best advocate.
5. Personal Survey:  Give some time to thinking about who you are.  Your job is to get a message across to a committee who has not met you personally.  Make a list of 10-15 adjectives that pertain to you and use them in your application.
6. Feedback from those who know you best:  Ask people who know you well to add to your personal survey.  You may not think of yourself as competitive, but if everyone else who describes you uses that word, you need to give this some thought!
7. Skills: How can they set you apart from the other thousands of applicants?  This is the time to toot your own horn.  Be scrupulously honest but consider that the committee only knows you by reading your application and recommendations.
8. Recommendations:  Ask people to write for you who know you personally.  Your choice of a recommender also says something about you.
9. Essays and short answers:  These should provide the scholarship committee with examples of ways in which you have been successful.
10. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread:  Ask your counselor or teacher to proofread your work and make suggestions.

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