Admissions Advice: How to Ace Your Applications
Despite the difference between the structure of online and traditional degree programs, the application process is largely similar. If you are a prospective e-learner, this article will help you compile and submit an application that will showcase your candidacy for an online degree program’s admissions committee.
When applying to a virtual postsecondary institution, you will first need to gather information about your educational experience, including your high school transcripts, any college credits you plan to transfer, and SAT and/or ACT test scores. Not only will you need to take these exams to be accepted by a quality online program, but they can also help you prove your eligibility for financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants.
Similarly, if you are applying to an online graduate degree program, you must provide the admissions office with information about your undergraduate career, as well as your GRE or GMAT scores.
Finding Out What’s Needed
The best way to find out what is required of you in the application process is to visit the websites of the degree programs to which you plan to apply. Accredited online colleges and universities make it easy for you to find a list of requirements and deadlines.
Without a doubt, you will be expected to complete either the Common Application, which is a standardized college application accepted by over 400 institutions across the country, or an application tailored for an individual school. Additionally, it is likely that you will need to contact references for letters of recommendation.
Keep in mind that each school you apply to will have different admission deadlines. So if you plan to apply to multiple schools, it will be extremely helpful if you create a timeline to keep track of your various deadlines. You will also need to determine whether you want to matriculate in the fall or spring semester and stay informed about application schedules. This information can be found on the school’s website or by contacting an admissions officer.
The Details of the Process
Not surprisingly, the process of applying to an online program largely takes place online, yet it should not be taken any less seriously than an application submitted on paper. Pay attention to the details! Read the directions carefully. Be sure to spell-check all of your writing and double check all numbers and dates (e.g. your GPA, the date of your high school graduation, etc). Be sure to confirm that you have attached all of the required materials.
After you send in your application, be sure to follow up with the school’s admissions office. Confirm that your application has been received and ask whether there is anything else you need to do to fulfill the school’s application requirements.
You can expect to spend several weeks compiling your academic information, writing admissions essays, filling out your applications, and contacting teachers or mentors for letters of reference. It is best to start the process early and give yourself plenty of time to fulfill your schools’ admission requirements, as you may encounter unexpected challenges or setbacks.