Review frequently asked questions on college applications.

Some of the most commonly asked questions as students complete their college applications are included on this page. Click on each question to see the answer.

Enrollment Information

Most students will select the fall semester following their senior year. For example, a student graduating high school in June 2022 would enter college in Fall 2022.

Freshman: You are considered a freshman if this is the first college in which you enroll after graduating high school. Check this box even if you have earned college credit in high school through advanced placement or dual enrollment courses. Transfer: If you are graduating high school this year and enrolling directly in college, you are NOT a transfer student, even if you have earned college credit while in high school. Non-Degree: You are classified as non-degree if you want to take college courses but are not seeking a degree.
You may select your first choice of major or you may choose to enter “undecided.” Please note that you can change your major once you enter college.

Name and Identification

No. You must provide your full legal name on college applications. This is one of the ways the admissions office matches up all the supplemental information (transcripts, test scores, financial aid etc.) to your application form. Be sure to provide your full name, including your middle name. If you have ever legally used another name (for example, if you have changed your last name through adoption), be sure to provide that name in the appropriate section. Most applications ask if you have a preferred name or a nickname. This is the place for you to indicate the name you would like to be called.
While you are normally advised to protect your Social Security number, this is one case where you must provide it. Your SSN helps colleges match your application to your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Many people may share your name, so your SSN helps to identify your application.


You may list a P.O. Box as your mailing address, but you will have to provide a physical address as your permanent address. The date that this address became your permanent mailing address is the month and year in which you moved to that location. If you have lived in the same house since you were born, this date will be the same as your birth date.
If you do not live in a location where you can receive mail, ask your counselor if you can use the school’s address on your application.


If the application indicates that the question is required, then yes, you must answer this question. This is the primary way in which an institution determines if you should apply as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or if you are considered an international student for admission purposes. If you are not a U.S. citizen but are a permanent resident and have a permanent residency card, you will be required to provide proof. Some colleges request that you simply provide the number on your card; others require that you submit a copy of the card. You should bring a copy of the card to your College Application Week event.

Family Information

You will need to indicate whether your father and/or mother are living. Many applications will also require the contact information of your parent(s) or guardian(s) in case of an emergency. Additionally, most colleges ask you to provide information about the educational history and current employment of your parent or guardian. If neither of your parents graduated with a bachelor’s degree, you are considered a “first-generation student.” Many colleges offer incentives and special programs for first-generation students, and your application is how they learn if you qualify for them. If you live with a legal guardian, you should answer these questions about your parent(s) rather than your guardian.
You may choose to list your biological parents or your current guardian(s). Colleges use the application process to learn as much about you as possible. They want to build a strong and diverse student body while making the best admission decision for you. So, you should answer these questions as fully as you feel comfortable in order to give colleges an accurate picture of your background and goals.

College Information

You should list any courses you have taken on a college campus, through a college’s online system or a college course taught at your high school by a certified college instructor. Please note that dual enrollment courses (high school and college classes) should be added here; however, do not list AP or IB courses.

If you have a significant number of activities and interests, consider typing them as a plain text file, such as Notepad, and saving them to a flash drive so that you can copy and paste them into your application. If you are using The Common Application, you only need to fill out one application that can be submitted to a number of colleges.
This information varies by college. You can find this information by looking at the Admissions section of the college’s website.
Most colleges will ask if you have ever been convicted of a felony. Answering “Yes” will not necessarily preclude you from being admitted. However, your failure to provide accurate, truthful information can be grounds to deny or withdraw your admission. Most applications allow you to explain the circumstances if you respond “Yes” to these questions, which can give you an opportunity to explain your personal experience and growth. Complete honestly is expected.

Test Scores

Even if you send all of your SAT or ACT scores, colleges generally look at your best ones. Many colleges will even combine your highest subscores (for example, your best math and verbal scores) to give you the best possible score overall. Because of this, it is often in your best interest to send all of your scores to colleges.
Not all schools require that you take the SAT or ACT. Community colleges generally do not require them, and there are many four-year colleges and universities that do not. Find a list of the four-year colleges and universities that are “test-optional” and learn about their requirements at Fair Test. However, if you are applying to a college or university that requires one of these tests, you’ll need to take it as soon as possible. Click here to find the next test dates and registration information for SAT or ACT. Remember that all Delaware high school juniors take the SAT test in the spring.