Submitting Your Admissions Applications

  1. Start early. It may take you longer than you think to gather all the materials you need to complete your admissions application file.

  2. Apply to at least three or four schools. Give yourself as many options as possible in case your first choice does not come through for you.

  3. Note deadlines. Identify all deadlines for admission, financial aid, and housing.

  4. Request application materials relevant to transfer students well in advance. Most college's have an online application on their website. Some applications are more complex than others. Allow yourself plenty of time to think through your responses and to prepare a flawless application.

  5. Read the entire application carefully before you begin. Note all materials required to complete your application file. Prepare a timeline noting dates for completing each step of the application process.

  6. Submit all admission application materials by the application deadline. A typical application file consists of the following:

    • Application for admission
    • Application fee
    • Official transcript from high school
    • Official transcripts from each of the colleges you have attended
  7. Request transcripts well in advance of the application deadline.
    • Transcripts with grades missing will need to be resent after the completion of the final courses.
    • Summer grades that are missing from initial application file may not be allowed for use in meeting admission requirements.

  8. The applications for many schools are online at the college or university's website. If you are not able to complete your Admissions application online, make several photocopies of the original application to use as a rough draft.

    • Your application should be visually attractive. Use your best handwriting or a typewriter to complete the application. Carefully plan the placement of all information on the form to determine the best use of space and the most attractive layout.

    • Fill in all blanks. Use N/A for items that do not apply to you. Do not leave anything to the reader's imagination.

  9. Demonstrate of your best writing ability. When a personal statement or essay is used to assess your communication skills, it is your opportunity to make yourself unique to the Admissions Committee. Don't sell yourself short.

    • Find ways to reveal the special qualities that will set you apart from other candidates.

    • Keep in mind appropriate self-disclosure will have a greater impact than vague, superficial statements.

    • The personal statement can also be used to explain unusual circumstances which may have had a negative impact on your scholastic record.

    • Proofread the final draft carefully. Have someone else proofread it too. Ask someone in Student Services or an instructor to look over your application for accuracy and completeness. Your application and personal statement need to be error free.

  10. Make a copy of the completed application and note the date it was mailed or submitted. Applications are generally considered in the order in which they are received. Submit your admissions application as early as possible and before the deadline.

  11. Check to see if the ACT is required. Make arrangements to take the ACT in the fall before you plan to transfer if the ACT is required and you have never taken the ACT.

  12. Apply early for financial aid. We recommend that you apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission, even to your second and third choice schools.

    Be sure to request that the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be sent to each of the schools where you are applying.

    The financial aid package offered may have a significant influence on which college or university you choose to attend.

  13. Submit only recommendations that enhance your application. The only good recommendation is an excellent one. Don't hesitate to ask the person writing your recommendation if they can write an excellent recommendation for you. If they cannot, try to find someone who can.

    Your chances of receiving a favorable recommendation will be increased if you allow your references plenty of time, at least a month, before the application deadline to think through and write the recommendation.

  14. Call the Admissions office and make an appointment for an interview.

    • Before meeting with the admission representative gather information about the school and write down your questions.

    • On the day of the interview arrive early so you will have plenty of time to park and find the Admissions office.

    • Dress neatly, relax, and be yourself.

    • Be sure to follow-up with a thank you note.

  15. If you need course descriptions for course credit you are transferring, you can find Hawkeye course descriptions online. If you need course descriptions from courses you took at other colleges and you do not have a copy of the college catalog for the semester when you took the course, contact the college's Admissions office or Student Records office to request photocopies of the course descriptions. Allow plenty of time for your request to be processed.

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