All, College Admissions, College Applications

College Application Details

As application deadlines loom, it’s easy to get so focused on essays and application questions that you forget other parts of applying, like test scores, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.

Here is a check list of items you should also have in process

Send Official Test Scores as Required

If you are applying with SAT or ACT scores, check if the school requires an official score report or accepts self-reported scores. It may take a couple weeks for College Board or ACT to process a score report request, so don’t wait until days before the application deadline or you may have to pay additional fees to rush the reports.  

Note: If you are applying under a Test Optional admissions policy, be sure you know the full details of the policy for each college. Some require additional information such as a resume, additional essays, or an interview.

Letters of Recommendation

Just as you need time to write quality essays and supplemental short answers, your recommenders need time to draft and submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Don’t procrastinate reaching out to potential recommenders. Confirm they are willing to submit a letter for you. Collect the required contact information. Once the request has been initiated through the application, remember to follow up to either give them a reminder of your timeline or to send them a thank you.


Like test scores, official transcripts may take time to submit. Make sure you know the timeline your high school uses for transcript requests. You may also need to submit official transcripts from any college you attended for dual credit courses or summer programs that earned college credit.

In the same way that some college applications allow self-reported test scores, some colleges use a self-reported course and grade report, sometimes via SSAR (Self-reported Student Academic Record). Make sure you know what each college you are applying to requires and how they want to get that information.