Apply to College


Apply to College

Be prepared with everything you need to apply for college. Ask for help if you have questions.



Explore your options. There are many different types of colleges in Oregon and across the country. Consider what would be a good fit and make a list of three to five colleges that you are interested in.

Be prepared. Gather what you will need to apply. This can include your high school and/or college transcript(s), essay or personal statement, letter(s) of recommendation, residency information and more. Print our College Organizer, use the Google Doc workbook or download the It’s A Plan app.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by college. Some colleges offer the opportunity to apply early. Other colleges have don’t have a firm deadline; you can apply at any point before a term starts. If you are transferring colleges, there may a different deadline than for first-year students.

This also means that colleges may let you know whether you have been accepted at different times. Some colleges might let you know right away; others may wait until the spring even if you apply in the fall.

Residency Information

Public colleges ask questions about residency, or whether you live in the state, to determine if you qualify for in-state tuition.

In Oregon, undocumented students may be eligible for in-state tuition and must complete additional paperwork.

Application Fees & Waivers

Many colleges require an application fee at the time you submit your application.

Some colleges automatically waive the fee if you apply online. Others will accept a deferral or waiver, both of which must be signed by your high school counselor or other designated school official. If you received a fee waiver for the SAT or ACT, you should automatically get fee waivers for college applications. Download one copy for each school you plan to apply to.

Common Application

Nearly 900 colleges accept the Common Application, including several in Oregon.

Degree Partnership Programs

Do you know you want to transfer to a 4-year college after taking some classes at a community college? Several colleges have degree partnership programs that allow you to be dual enrolled at both colleges.






Schedule time. Set aside dedicated time to apply for colleges. Take advantage of any time and help that your school provides.

Apply online. Use the links below or go to the college's home page and look for the “Apply Now” or “Admissions” link.


Save information securely. Many colleges will have you create an account when you apply. Use the same e-mail for all of your accounts and make sure to save username and passwords in a safe place, like the It’s A Plan app.

Get help. College applications can be confusing. Get answers to frequently asked questions or ask a counselor, teacher or other trusted adult. You can also contact an admissions representative or enrollment manager at the college you’re applying to.


Follow up. Make sure that your high school transcript, SAT or ACT test scores, letters of recommendation and other supplemental materials are sent to colleges. Check your e-mail regularly – this will be the main way colleges contact you!

Complete financial aid applications, including the FAFSA or ORSAA. If you’ve already submitted your FAFSA or ORSAA, make sure to add all of the schools you have applied to. If you are applying to an Oregon community college you may also want to submit the Oregon Promise grant application.

Celebrate! You’ve applied to college. Share your success on social media—tag Oregon Goes To College and use the hashtag #iapplied.