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Preparing to Apply

When you are within a year of transferring, it is time to begin preparing to apply to colleges. Make sure you give yourself lots of time (more than you THINK you need)!

Plan Your Application Timeline - Be aware that the application process may take 2 months or longer and many colleges have application deadlines. Look over the application and note parts that will take longer to complete, such as the essay, gathering reference letters, and ordering transcripts. Then create a personal timeline that ensures you will have the entire application complete well before the college deadline.

Write your Essay or Personal Statement (if required) - Many colleges require that you submit a 1-2 page essay or applicant statement. Because this is a very important part of your application, give it careful thought. Follow all instructions for completing the essay and be sure to have your essay proofread. If you need assistance, contact Madison College's Writing Center or advisors in Academic Advising Services office.

Gather Reference Letters - You may be required to submit one or more reference letters (also called letters of recommendation). Even if letters are not required, submitting them may strengthen your application. Most colleges will want these letters to come from faculty members who know you and your academic abilities, but letters from employers or places where you have volunteered are acceptable. Give your references at least 3 weeks to write the letters.

Complete the Application - After filling out the admissions application, triple-check for errors. Apply online when possible.

Order Your Official High School and College Transcripts - Arrange to have high school and all college transcripts sent to your transfer college. You can now submit an online request of your Madison College official transcripts. You'll need to know the admissions address of your transfer college.

Apply for Financial Aid (if needed) - Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to list ALL the colleges to which you are applying, so your FAFSA will be forwarded on to the correct colleges. Contact the financial aid office at your transfer colleges for any information about financial aid or paying for college.

Before Sending Your Application - Before turning in your application, make sure you are submitting all items the college has requested. Follow instructions carefully and make sure you send everything before the application deadline!