College Application Process
Applying To College
Use this Application Tracker Spreadsheet to help you stay organized >>>
- APPLY by deadlines with essay, letters of recommendation, test scores, transcripts and any additional requirement. See each college’s admission process. Or click here for WA State College Admission Deadlines.
- Direct Admit Program for Freshman: Nursing, Business, Engineering, etc. Each college has their own program to consider.
- Some colleges do not want a transcript at the time of application (UW is one) - they have you self-report your grades and send a transcript if you are accepted.
- If you need a paper copy of your transcript you can request official MVHS transcripts in the counseling office or by accessing the form here. Sealed envelopes with your official transcript will be provided. Please allow 48 hours.
- Arrange to have your SAT and/or ACT scores sent directly to colleges.
- If applying to a WUE school, check the box on the online application and if there is not one provided, contact the school admissions, scholarship, or financial aid office and ask them how to apply for WUE. For more information on the WUE program visit http://www.wiche.edu/wue
- If you are applying through the Common Application, follow the colleges instructions. If applying via the Common App, all school reports including transcript will be electronically submitted once you make the request to your counselor.
- Follow up to make sure your application is complete.
Understanding the College Admission Vocabulary:
- Regular Decision:
- The deadline for regular decision applications is usually between November 1st and February 1st. Students hear back sometime from mid-March through mid-April. You must reply by May 1st.
- Rolling or Modified Rolling:
- The college makes their admission decision as they receive applications. It can often be better to apply as early as you can with these types of schools. You must reply by May 1st.
- Early Decision:
- Early decision is binding so you can only apply to one school early decision and must attend if accepted. The only way to get out of attending your early decision school is if you can't afford to attend. Colleges usually have an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) calculator on their website; the colleges assume that you're okay with that EFC calculation. So, if your family's finances don't change, then you are still binded by early decision. You might also see Early Decision II or III for some schools. This is a way for some colleges to pick up more early applicants who decide to apply ED later or (probably more commonly) applicants who get rejected from their first early decision school.
- Early Action:
- Early action programs have earlier deadlines and earlier decision dates, but they are not binding (you don't have to go if you get in). Just like with rolling admissions it is often better to get your application in earlier rather than later. Sometimes schools consider applications 'priority' applications if the student applies before a certain date for rolling or early action. You may apply to other schools. You must reply (if accepted) by May 1.
- Restrictive Early Action/ Single Choice Early Action:
- Applying restricted early action means you can't apply early decision to any school, or early action at other private institutions. You don’t have to commit if admitted and are free to apply regular admission anywhere. Restricted early action is used by Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale among others. Make sure to check the website of the school you are applying to restricted early action as the specific rules vary among schools. You must reply by May 1.