JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Applying to College

Once the student has narrowed the list of colleges down to the ones he or she would like to attend, it’s time for them to start the application process. It’s wise for students to apply to several colleges. Remind your students the application process is not quick and applications usually aren’t free, and admissions due dates vary from college to college. Generally, it’s wise for students to apply by the fall of their senior year in high school, or one year before they hope to attend college.
The application process takes time, so encourage your students to start long before the due dates to give them enough time to get the application form(s), transcripts and letter(s) of recommendation needed to submit with his or her application.  Plus, allow time for writing essays and doing any other paperwork that may be required. In order to complete the process by September of their senior year, or the September before they plan to attend, the student should already have a list of colleges in which he or she is interested by the end of their junior year, or one and a half years before college starts.

Applying to colleges may seem overwhelming. But if the student takes the right steps, starts early and asks people for help, such as their parents or advisors, they’ll have no problem getting it done. Encourage your students to use the Application Timeline to keep themselves on track.