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Tips for preparing and presenting your college application.

  • Allow yourself sufficient time to complete online application forms as a rushed job results in careless errors. Work on it alone and in a quiet place where you can give the application the attention it deserves.

  • Read directions carefully and follow them accurately.

  • Use the same legal name on all applications.

  • Read all questions on the form and think about your answers before you begin to write.

  • Write your essay(s) or UC PIQs in a Word document or Google Docs (check spelling and ask your English teacher to proofread), then "cut and paste" the essay into the online application or transfer to the paper application. 

  • Make your answers truthful, specific, and concise.

  • Proofread and have others do so.

  • Answer all questions. Do not leave blank spaces. If a question does not apply to you, place a dash (-), NA (Not Applicable), or zero (0) in the blank.

  • If an application fee is required, follow instructions for submitting payment. Some college might automatically offer you fee waivers based on your family income. Or the college might accept a College Board college application fee waiver. If you used a fee waiver to take the SAT, check your College Board account for college application fee waivers. 

  • Print a copy of your online application. Save your username/password information.

  • Check your email, check your email, check your email! Make sure you check your email regularly for any subsequent information requested by your college. Most institutions no longer communicate by sending letters home. Your admission status is usually updated by email or through an online student portal.

  • Get a Social Security Number if you do not have one.(See or for additional information.)     Note: A Social Security Number is not required for college admission.

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