Apply to College


Apply to College

Be prepared with everything you need to apply for college. Ask for help if you have questions.



Explore your options.

There are many different types of colleges in Oregon and across the U.S. Consider what would be a good fit and make a list of three to five colleges that you are interested in.

Make a list of deadlines.

Application deadlines vary by college and by individual program. Some colleges offer the opportunity to apply early. Other colleges don’t have a firm deadline (also known as rolling admissions); you can apply at any point before a term starts. If you are transferring colleges, there may be a different deadline than for first-year students.

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.

One way to make it easier? Whenever you can, use the Common Application. It is accepted by over 900 colleges nationally, including several in Oregon.


  • 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.

  • Academic Transcript(s)

    You will need to provide a high school transcript that lists the classes you've taken and your grades. Your high school can send a transcript directly to the college; talk to your counselor or a teacher about how you can request an official transcript.

    If you have taken dual credit or direct enrollment classes you may also need to submit transcripts from the college(s). Whenever possible, have colleges send transcripts electronically directly to the colleges you plan to apply to.

  • 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.


  • Activities Chart or Resume

    This is a list of extracurricular activities that you've done as part of school, in your community, for your family, or as a job. 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.

  • College Admission Test Scores

    Many 4-year colleges and universities require or recommend submitting ACT and/or SAT scores. Due to coronavirus, most colleges, incuding all Oregon colleges, 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

    Public colleges ask questions about residency, or whether you live in the state, to determine if you qualify for in-state tuition. In Oregon, undocumented students may be eligible for in-state tuition and must complete additional paperwork.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Some colleges want to hear from people who know you well like a teacher, counselor, or coach. Be thoughtful about who you ask. Give them plenty of time to write the letters of recommendation, and provide your résumé or activities chart and any instructions from the application.

  • 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.

    Oregon public universities: Fee deferral form
    Colleges across the US: NACAC Fee Waiver


Schedule time.

Set aside dedicated time to apply for colleges.

Get help.

College applications can be confusing. Get answers to frequently asked questions or watch the walk throughs of applications from Oregon colleges (click the button in the table below to watch). You can also ask a counselor, teacher, or an admissions representative or enrollment manager at the college you’re applying to. Take advantage of any time and help that your school provides.

Apply online.

Use the links below or go to the college's home page and look for the “Apply Now” or “Admissions” link.



Follow up.

Make sure that your high school transcript, SAT or ACT test scores, letters of recommendation and other supplemental materials are sent to colleges. Check your e-mail regularly – this will be the main way colleges contact you!

Colleges may let you know whether you have been accepted at different times. Some colleges might let you know right away; others may wait until the spring even if you apply in the fall.

Complete financial aid applications, including the FAFSA or ORSAA.

If you’ve already submitted your FAFSA or ORSAA, make sure to add all of the schools you have applied to.

Your college may have an additional financial aid or scholarship application as well.

If you are applying to an Oregon community college you should also submit the Oregon Promise grant application if you are eligible.


You’ve applied to college. Complete the College Application Week Student Survey to enter a raffle to win one of 100+ prizes! Share your success on social media—tag Oregon Goes To College and use the hashtag #iapplied.