Apply for College - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Apply for College

Think of the application process as a tryout or a casting call. You already have the potential to be a student that colleges want. Now you just need to prove it to the schools you want to attend. Fortunately, you won't need to throw a touchdown pass or sing a solo to be accepted. Get ready for your tryout by following these steps.

  • Narrow down the list of colleges you're interested in. (As a junior, you should have 10 to 15 good choices. If you don't, start checking out websites and college fairs.)
  • By November of your senior year, narrow that list to the top two to five schools.
    • List these schools on your financial aid applications, ACT® or SAT® registrations, and other forms.
    • Look at the admission requirements. Are you able to meet all of them?
    • Apply to more than one school – even if you think one school is perfect for you.
  • Fill out admission applications online or on paper (most schools offer both).
    • Visit the schools' websites to get the forms you need.
    • Check to see if your school accepts the Common Application.
      • The Common Application is a standard form accepted by nearly 300 colleges across the country. Many schools that accept the Common Application also have supplemental forms you must complete.
  • Send applications as soon as you can. It's a good idea to send your applications no later than March if you want to attend college in the fall.
    • Check with your chosen schools about specific admission deadlines. Many colleges have a rolling admissions deadline, which means you can apply anytime throughout the year.

View admission application deadlines for Iowa postsecondary institutions.

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