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What materials do I need for my college applications?

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If you want to efficiently complete your college applications, organization is key. Know ahead of time what materials you need. This will save you headaches later and help you avoid missing deadlines. 

While different colleges have slightly different application requirements, there are several items you’ll need to access multiple times. 

1. Official high school transcripts 

Official transcripts must come directly from your high school. Typically, your guidance counselor can help with this.  

2. Test scores 

Some schools are test optional, so verify whether the schools you are applying to expect to receive standardized test scores.  

The College Board allows you to send SAT scores for free to four schools, as long as you designate those schools at the times outlined in their instructions. To send your scores to additional schools, there is a fee. College Board explains their process here. 

3. FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) 

To receive need-based aid, you’ll need to complete the FAFSA. You can add your prospective schools when you first complete the FAFSA, or you can add schools later through your online account. The FAFSA website has instructions here. 

4. Essays 

Some schools require essays as part of the application process. Make sure you know the requirements ahead of time so you’re not blindsided by an essay at the last minute. 

5. Application Fees 

Some colleges require application fees while others do not. Make sure you research the schools you’re interested in and determine how much you will need to set aside for fees.  

When in doubt, check with your prospective college! Most schools offer a concise summary of necessary materials. You can find Erskine College’s list here. 

Gabe Hollingsworth

Senior Director of Enrollment
Expert Contributor
Erskine and Due West Skyline

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Erskine College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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