Elements of a College Application
The first section of the average college application asks for personal information about the applicant. Colleges use this personal information to identify the student during and after the application process, as well as to contact the potential student about acceptance into the school. The basic personal information section on a college application includes:
- Social security number
- Current address
- Permanent address
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Birth date
- Sex or gender
- Ethnic affiliation
- Parent or guardian contact information
Note that, although many applications do ask for information about sex or gender and ethnic affiliation, answering these questions is generally optional and generally cannot be taken into consideration by the college during the application process.
The largest and most important part of the average college application is the academic information section. Information about previous educational experience helps a college judge the future academic success of an applicant; however, know that students with low GPAs or standardized test score are not necessarily passed over for consideration. The basic academic information section on a college application includes:
- High school information
- High school GPA
- Class rank
- College/university information
- College coursework completed
- Intended major or program of study
In addition to lists of information about education backgrounds, the majority of colleges also require transcripts from all schools previously attended.
Foreign Applicant Information
College applicants from countries outside of the United States must often provide additional information. The basic foreign applicant information section on a college application includes:
TOEFL or IELTS score
- Visa information
Depending on the specific college, other information may be required of applicants from foreign countries.
Some colleges also ask for additional information from applicants on a college application. Some of the more frequent information required on college application include:
- Legacy information
- Criminal history
- ROTC information
- Armed services
- Extracurricular activities
- Work experience
Note that the information on college applications described above is not all inclusive. Some schools will ask for more information while others will require less. When filling out any application, make sure to read all the instructions thoroughly and provide all of the information requested.