How do I apply for college?
How do I apply for college?
To apply for college takes a lot of time and work. But it is worth the effort!
College admission requirements
To be admitted to a two-year college, four-year collge or university, you will need a high school diploma. If you did not go to high school, or if you left before graduating, you can get a high school equivalency diploma instead. This shows you have enough education to go to college.
You can earn your high school equivalency diploma (called GED or HiSET) at community colleges, through evening classes for immigrants and refugees, or online with the RCO’s free GED preparation class.
What types of colleges are there?
Community colleges are primarily two-year public schools that focus on career skills. Students who graduate from community colleges often receive certificates or associate degrees. Community colleges can help students gain important skills to begin careers offering a living wage (this means any jobs that pay enough money for people to live without needing to work two different jobs or get help from the government). Some community colleges have programs to help students transfer to four-year colleges. Community colleges are typically cheaper than four-year colleges.
College and university
Many Americans go to a four-year college after they finish high school. A university is a college that offers not just bachelor’s (undergraduate) degrees but post-graduate degrees too (Master’s or PhD). However, in everyday speech in the United States, people often say “college” for all education that comes after high school.
Public and private
Colleges can be either private or public schools. Private colleges normally cost more money than public colleges. However, private colleges may also have more scholarship money available.
College application requirements
If you know which college you with to attend, you can look on its website for information about how to apply. Below is a list the usual application requirements, courtesy of bestcolleges.com:
Anyone seeking to attend a two- or four-year college or university is required to meet the school’s admission requirements. While these can differ from school to school, the application process typically consists of submitting:
- an online application form;
- a letter of intent or personal statement;
- at least one supplemental essay (the topic is typically provided by the school);
- two or more letters of recommendation from previous teachers;
- high school transcripts;
- standardized test scores;
- application fees
You can find a more detailed step-by-step guide on the website of University Language Services: Applying to College Step by Step
Other helpful information
- Educational Resources for Immigrants, Refugees, Asylees and other New Americans
- Arizona State University online learning tips checklist
- College guide for undocumented students
- Resources for first-generation students