College Application Form Tips

By Peterson's Staff updated on Thursday, January 31, 2013

Filling out one college application form after another can be daunting, especially when you're trying to make a good impression upon the admission committees and get everything done on a deadline. This list should help you get the job done well — and on time!

The college application: what to do

  • DO read college applications and directions carefully.
  • DO make sure that everything that is supposed to be included is enclosed.
  • DO fill out your own applications. Type the information yourself to avoid crucial mistakes.
  • DO start with the simple applications and then progress to the more complex ones.
  • DO make copies of college applications, and practice filling one out before you complete the original.
  • DO type or neatly print your answers, and then proofread the applications and essays several times for accuracy. Also ask someone else to proofread them for you.
  • DO describe how you can make a contribution to the schools to which you apply (if you're asked).
  • DO be truthful, and do not exaggerate your accomplishments.
  • DO keep a copy of all the forms you submit to colleges.
  • DO be thorough and turn things in on time.

The college application: what NOT to do

  • DON'T use correction fluid. If you type your application for college, use a correctable typewriter or liftoff strips to correct mistakes. Better yet, fill out your application online.
  • DON'T write in script. If you don't have access to a computer or typewriter, print neatly.
  • DON'T leave blank spaces. Missing information may cause your application to be sent back or delayed while admission officers wait for complete information.
  • DON'T be unclear. If the question calls for a specific answer, don't try to dodge it by being vague.
  • DON'T put it off!

Saving time
One way to save time when filling out applications is to use the college common application form for the schools you're applying to that accept it. This way, you only have to fill out the form once and it can be sent to multiple colleges!

About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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