You will need to send your best test scores to each of your colleges directly from
. These cost about $11 each to send, and some colleges require that you send every test score you have (from either the SAT or the ACT). Most schools allow you to save a little money and just send your best scores.
Many colleges require or request rec letters
from two academic teachers in core subjects, preferably from Junior year. Your teachers will write one letter each and upload it to the Common App
or send it via an email link to your non-Common App schools. Your counselor will do the same. Ask your teachers for these letters at least one month in advance, so October 1st
is a good date. Two weeks after you ask, take your teachers and your school counselor an thank you card
and gift. Before you go asking random neighbors, bosses, and uncles for letters, be sure that any of your colleges will accept them; many colleges do not want a single extra piece of paper.
Your main college essay:
This is the main essay
you write and send to each college via the Common App or via their application. Typically one essay will suffice for all of your colleges. We have awesome essay tips listed on the CollegeMapper Essays page
College specific supplemental essays:
Each college may ask you to write extra essays. They may ask for any number of these from zero to 10 (generally speaking). Try very hard to strategically recycle these essays as much as you can or you could end up writing 25 pieces for college. With clever recycling, you should be able to get your number of unique essays down to 10-13.
But that’s not all! Part 3 of our Organizing Your Apps series is coming soon. To get off to a good start, check out Part 1 here.