Congratulations! Having conducted sufficient research and done all due diligence, you have made the wise decision to pursue an online education. Undoubtedly, you’ve narrowed down your choices to those institutions with the best program offerings for your personal, professional, and career goals. To maximize your chances of acceptance, you want to submit multiple applications.
Having perused various schools’ admissions sites, you may be somewhat overwhelmed. Official transcripts, recommendation letters, and standardized test scores are the standard submissions that schools universally require of all prospective students. Take heart; while you’re at it, take a seat. Today’s class is dedicated to providing the guidance you need to navigate the maze of online college applications.
First things first
Your first task is adequate advance preparation. Knowing that certain personal data and details are universally demanded, assemble your factual arsenal. Buy an inexpensive file folder to contain your application materials. At a minimum, its contents should include:
• High-school and college transcripts. If you earned a GED, have an official copy of your test scores on hand;
• Social Security card;
• Written summary of your educational background. This should include dates of attendance and Registrar contact information for each of your previous schools;
– Standardized test scores from SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT;
– List of extracurricular activities such as athletics, community service, or membership in affinity or social groups;
– List of any special honors or awards. Examples are National Honor Society membership or professional designations such as CLU, or RN. Any specialized licenses held such as Real Estate Broker, or official SEC Stockbroker registration should also be included. Be sure to list applicable license or permit numbers;
– Admissions essay or Statement of Purpose. This is a self-prepared composition addressed to admissions officials. In general, it details your specific motivations for seeking enrollment in a particular program. Detailed descriptions of personal, family, and educational backgrounds are usually highlighted;
– Letters of recommendation. If you have just completed high school or another college program, these letters should usually be solicited from teachers or course instructors. If you have been working for some time, seek recommendations from current or past employers, clients, or coworkers. Prominent community members such as fellow businesspeople or ministers are also likely sources;
– Work samples. One or more samples of previously-completed academic projects are often requested. This is especially common for graduate-level or professional program applications. Master’s theses, comprehensive final research papers, or other substantial written assignments are suitable. If you have been published in professional or industry-related journals, these writings are excellent options to submit.
Moving right along
Having marshaled your core data and supporting documentation, the next step is to apply it by applying for admission. Virtually all online college applications must be accompanied by a fee. Variously known as an “application fee” or “admissions fee”, this remission is required with application submission.
If you funds are very limited, submit a pre-written form email to each admissions office requesting waiver of the fee. You will be pleasantly surprised to discover how willingly they will work with you. In the competitive online educational environment, schools do all they can to facilitate enrollment.
Many schools even have standard policies for waiver of application fees if a student’s documented financial resources fall below a certain level. This is why those of modest means should apply for Federal financial aid before submitting any admissions applications.
Establish some common ground
Commonapp.org is an excellent resource for streamlining online college applications submission. The organization boasts a total membership of more than 415 educational institutions. The site features a platform whereby applicants may make multiple submissions to member schools after completing a single form. After establishing your free Commonapp account, login at any time to monitor application statuses from this centralized online portal.
By applying the simple common-sense pointers presented above, you can greatly simplify application submissions. The time saved may be put to much better use for investigating prospective employers, externships, or internships related to your major. You may even get a “sneak preview” of course content and begin prestudies to help you breeze through actual assignments later on.
Prepare for eventual enrollment by honing your research and preparation skills before beginning your first class. You’ll be leagues ahead of your academic competition. Class is now dismissed.