What You Need to Apply to College
It's time to apply for college! In addition to uninterrupted time to complete your application and access to an Internet-connected computer, you will need a variety of information and documents.
Be prepared. Visit college websites to find out what you will need to complete your applications and gather this information ahead of time. Print our College Organizer, use the Google Doc workbook or download the It’s A Plan app to keep track of everything you need to include.
ALL APPLICATIONS REQUIRE:
☑ Personal Information
All college applications will ask for basic information including your full legal name, address, birthdate, and citizenship status. If you are a US Citizen or have been granted a Social Security number, you will be required to provide it. Memorize your Social Security number or keep it in a secure and accessible location like our It’s A Plan app.
☑ High School Transcript
Colleges want to review your academic history so they ask for a high school transcript that lists the classes you've taken and your grades. You will need your high school to send a transcript directly to the college; talk to your counselor or a teacher about how you can request an official transcript.
☑ Log In & Password
Colleges prefer that you apply online. Keep track of your log in and password information for college applications in a secure and accessible location such as our It’s A Plan app. Use the same e-mail for all applications.
SOME APPLICATIONS REQUIRE:
☑ Activities Chart or Resume
College applications and scholarships often ask for a list of extracurricular activities. Quality is better than quantity, so list those activities that have been the most meaningful, the most amount of time and/or where you've had a leadership role. Admissions offices understand that the coronavirus has changed how students may be spending their time, so remember to consider activities you've done as part of school, in your community, for your family, and/or as a job.
☑ College Admission Test Scores
Many 4-year colleges and universities require or recommend submitting ACT and/or SAT scores. Due to coronavirus, most colleges, including all Oregon colleges, and many scholarship providers have relaxed their testing requirements for students applying to start in the fall of 2021. Some colleges allow you to self-report your scores on the application; others require that the testing companies send the scores directly to them.
☑ Personal Statement or Essay
Some colleges require one or more examples of your writing. Write your essay before you sit down to apply and be sure to follow directions and proofread before submitting.
☑ Residency Information
If you are applying to an Oregon public university and wish to pay in-state tuition, you will need to establish that you are a resident of Oregon. You will be required to provide information for you and at least one parent or guardian.
Note: Undocumented students may be eligible for in-state tuition. Check with the college(s) to see what information is required.
☑ College Transcripts
If you have taken dual credit or direct enrollment classes you may also need to submit transcripts from the college(s).
You can order transcripts from the college(s). Some colleges charge a fee for ordering transcripts. Whenever possible, have colleges send transcripts electronically directly to the colleges you plan to apply to.
☑ Application Fee, Deferral, or Waiver
You may need to pay a fee when you submit your application. Many colleges accept a deferral or waiver, both of which must be signed by your high school counselor or other designated school official. If you received a fee waiver for the SAT or ACT, you should automatically get fee waivers for college applications. Download one copy for each school you plan to apply to.
Originally published October 2019; updated October 2020.