Admissions | Applying for Admissions

Completing College Admission Applications

Completing college admissions applications and gathering all of the necessary documents can take a lot of time and effort, so begin the process at least one to two months prior to the college or university’s application deadline.

Ways to Apply for Admission

Colleges and universities may provide multiple options when it comes to having students apply for admissions. Some colleges will require you to complete their own university-specific admissions application, while many others allow students to complete a standardized application such as ApplyTexas or the Common Application, which can be sent to multiple colleges and universities.

Note: Some colleges participating in the Common Application or ApplyTexas standard application program may require supplemental forms; this information should be stated on the website when applying.

The ApplyTexas online application can be used for any Texas Public university as well as participating community and private colleges. This site includes detailed information regarding fees (if applicable), general information about the college, deadlines, essay requirements and any special application instructions. You can also apply for housing and even scholarships through this application (participating universities only).

The Common Application is accepted by more than 500 participating colleges in 47 states and the District of Columbia and can be completed online or downloaded and printed to be delivered by mail. The Common Application includes information about each college’s application process, admissions requirements, fees, deadlines and whether supplemental information is required.

Directly Applying

Colleges that do not participate through ApplyTexas or the Common Application will require you to complete their own university-specific admissions application.

Be sure to contact all colleges you’re interested in attending for details on their application process and due dates.

Admissions Information Needed

Icon of human with the head in a lighter blue.

Biographical Information

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Home Address
Icon of human on a sheet of paper.

& Information

  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Class Rank
  • Class Size
  • High School(s) Attended
  • College(s) Attended while in High School
  • Semester/Year Entering College
  • Desired Degree
  • Honors & Awards
Icon of location and human icon in the bubble.

Demographic Information

  • Birth Place
  • Ethnicity
  • Citizenship/Residency
  • Military Status
  • Phone Number
  • Home Address
Icon of blue hand with heart in the center.

Personal/Volunteer Activities

  • Organization Name(s)
  • Hours Per Week
  • Position(s) Held
  • Grade Level Involved
Icon of blue house with heart in the center.

Family Information

  • Educational Background
  • Parent's Household Size
  • Parent's Marital Status
  • Parent's Address
  • Parent's Contact
  • Legal Guardian (if applicable)
  • Family Income
Icon of dark blue briefcase.


  • Role/Job Title
  • Employer
  • Hours Per Week
  • Dates of Employment/Internship
  • Legal Guardian (if applicable)
  • Family Income

Additional Information May Be Requested

To help stay on top of your applications, be sure to use our handy College Application Track Sheet!

Application Fee

This fee is usually nonrefundable. However, some colleges may offer fee waivers for applicants from low-income families or those who apply online; check with the admissions office or your counselor for more information. Students that receive fee waivers for the SAT and/or ACT are also eligible for admissions application fee waivers; talk to your counselor for more information.


Students interested in pursuing a degree in music or theater will most likely be required to audition before being accepted into the program. Each institution may have different audition requirements from playing a piece of music from a respected composer to acting out a part from an original play written by a fellow student.


You will need to submit your high school transcript to each college you plan to apply to (and a final transcript, upon graduation, to the college you select). Also, don’t forget any college credit you may have earned during high school through dual credit or AP exams.


The key to writing a successful essay (like any paper) is to brainstorm, draft and edit/proofread. And don’t be afraid to let someone else read your essay and give feedback!


There are two basic types of college interiviews - evaluative and informational. Make sure you know what the inverview means to the college and what it is intended to accomplish.

Letters of Recommendation

Colleges will usually request 2 -3 letters of recommendation, normally from individuals both in and out of the classroom.

Portfolios (primarily for performing or fine arts programs)

Students interested in pursuing a field in the arts may need to submit a portfolio to show they have the skill required to be accepted into the program. Each institution may have different requirements on what must be included in the portfolio. Some four-year institutions may require students to attend as an “art interested” major until they have created a portfolio that meets the expectations of the course.

Test Scores

Many applications will request self-reported test scores; however, be sure to contact the ACT or SAT testing agency to have your scores submitted to all colleges you apply to. Don’t forget your AP test scores. If you take an AP exam offered in May, be sure to contact the College Board when scores are available in July to have them submitted to the institution you wish to attend (if you didn’t originally list the college or university on your answer sheet when you took the test). Each institution will determine if they will grant credit or advanced placement based on your scores.

When to Apply

Early Admissions

Some colleges and universities may offer an early admissions program in addition to the regular admissions process. Early admission programs include early decision and early action – both programs allow students to apply early, usually in November, which means you should start the application process in October. Students applying for early decision or early action are normally notified of an admissions decision in December or early January. Click here for more info about early decision and early action.

Regular Admissions

Regular admission for most colleges begins in November and runs through March. Remember, you should give yourself at least one to two months to complete the necessary paperwork; this also allows time for individuals who will be writing letters of recommendation for you. Acceptance letters are sent in the spring, and students normally have until May 1 to notify the school of their intent to attend. Contact the college you’re interested in attending to find out their official admissions application deadline and their acceptance deadline.

Automatic Admissions

Did you know that you may qualify for automatic admissions to many public colleges and universities in Texas if you graduate in the top 10% of your class? Did you also know that several colleges and universities in Texas, like UT Arlington and Tarleton State University, automatically accept students that graduate in the top 25% of their class? Of course, you must also meet other requirements such as submitting all required documentation by the application deadline, meeting certain graduation requirements and/or earning certain scores on the SAT/ACT. Be sure to contact the admissions office of each institution that you’re interested in attending for complete details and requirements for automatic admissions. If you’re unsure if you fall in the top 10% or 25% of your graduating class, simply contact your counselor!