Overview: Take those first steps.

Applying to college marks the beginning of a journey that requires persistence and focus. As such, completing and submitting a college application can seem overwhelming.

But during College Application Month in October and November, you’ll receive plenty of guidance.

Students will receive time during the day to fill out and submit college applications. During these sessions, counselors and volunteers will be available to help students fill out applications and answer any questions you may have.

Ask when your school’s College Application Week is scheduled. Here are a few more tips to get you going.

Talk to your parents and school counselor about your plans to apply to college.

Think about what subjects you might be interested in and what colleges would be a good match for you. The College Navigator and Big Future sites can help you tailor your search to find colleges that best fit your goals and interests. You also can learn more about college-focused events in your community by clicking here. Working on your Student Success Plan can help you identify career possibilities based on your interests and strengths. All district and charter school students in Delaware have access to Student Success Plans beginning in 6th grade.

Read about the college application process.

Big Future offers a good overview on what to expect in the early stages and how to begin. Read it here. Also check out the frequently asked questions page.

Register with The Common Application.

The Common Application allows you to create one application and submit it to a number of colleges so that you don’t have to fill out multiple applications. Many colleges have switched to the Common Application, where students fill out a standard application and submit it to multiple colleges. Students can create a free account for The Common Application, review application requirements, and find out which institutions accept The Common Application. You can download a sample of the Common Application here or by clicking on the image to the right

Start drafting your essay.

Most college applications require a personal statement essay. Colleges want to know who you are and why you would be a good fit for their school. Your essay should be unique and express your personality, goals and interests. Be creative and ask family and teachers for feedback on your writing. Have your essay ready for College Application Week on a flash drive or as an email attachment. For additional help and guidance, please see your school counselor or your English teacher.

Register for/take the SAT or ACT.

Some schools require test scores for admission. All Delaware juniors take the SATs in the spring. Taking the test again often results in higher scores. Check the testing dates in advance so you can plan out the timing of taking the SAT again to try and improve your scores. You can register here for the SAT. Some students prefer to take the ACT test, which is also accepted at many colleges. Register here for the ACT. Both sites have links to study resources and practice tests. There also are forms you can fill out to receive a fee waiver to cover the costs of these tests. Check with your school counselor for additional information on fee waivers.

Attend workshops of preparing and paying for college.

Check with your school counselors to see if they’re holding a financial aid information session and plan to attend.

Consider colleges in neighboring state.

Below are admissions criteria and requirements for Delaware colleges and universities and several surrounding states.

Review other resources.

  • The Financial Aid 101 page will also help you prepare for college application season.