Applying to College

STEP ONE: Prepare for the ACT or SAT

While some colleges do not require you to take the SAT or ACT, many still do. It is a good idea to prepare for these exams in advance, because they can have an impact on what colleges you are accepted to and the amount of merit-based financial aid you receive.

Note: For Fall 2016 and 2017 Massachusetts State Universities and UMass campuses are participating in a TEST Optional pilot. For further information contact the admissions office at the institution(s) to which the student is interested in applying.

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STEP TWO: Apply to more than one school

Talk to your guidance counselor and explore the resources on our Finding the Right School page to make a list of colleges to apply to. You never know how much financial aid you will receive from each school, or which ones you will be accepted to– so it's a good idea to apply to more than one.

Over 500 colleges and universities accept the Common Application. Instead of filling out multiple applications, you can simply fill out one and submit it to each college. Be aware that you may need to submit additional documents to some colleges, and will need to pay individual application fees for each college.

Writing a Resume


STEP THREE: Apply for financial aid

The first step in the financial aid proces is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Then, go to the Financial Aid Resources page for information on applying for scholarships, grants and loans.

Use the Net Price Calculator from the U.S. Department of Education to help you determine how much it will actually cost for you to go to college.


STEP FOUR: Take the placement test

Most students will need to take the Accuplacer Computerized Placement Test before enrolling in classes. Learn more about the test and minimum scores on the admissions page.


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