When should I start applying to college?

Are you wondering when the right time is to start applying to college? We interviewed the experts and compiled these tips to make the process a little smoother for you. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin applying to colleges…

When is the best time to start applying for college?

The best time to start applying for college is during your senior year of high school. Start the process as soon as the application period is open and the form is available to fill out. Most schools open their application periods between June 1 and August 1. Applying early will allow you to analyze your options on colleges, tuition, financial aid, housing and more.

So you’re not yet a senior but anxious to start the process? Start researching colleges and universities now. Browse websites. Make campus visits. Narrow down your choices, then once the application window opens you will be first in line.

What is involved in the application process?

To begin the application process, you must first find the online application or paper application for the college you wish to apply for. Upon completing the application and submitting it, be sure to send your transcripts along with ACT and/or SAT test scores to that college.

Another important part of this process is talking to admissions counselors to check if there are any other requirements for applying and getting accepted.

When are the deadlines?

Application deadlines will vary depending on the school you are applying to. This is another area where it is important to talk to admissions counselors. You can also find applications and deadline dates on the college’s website.

Should I go on a campus visit before or after applying?

Whether or not you go on a campus visit before applying to a college is completely up to you. Applying beforehand could make a campus visit more personal, while visiting first could assist in making the decision to apply easier. Of course, you could always visit both before and after applying.
What to expect from a campus visit >

Does the application process cost money?

Some colleges have application fees while others do not. This is an important item to research before you start applying to college. If there is a fee, some colleges will waive them in certain circumstances. Some colleges allow students to apply through the Common App. This website allows students to fill out a form one time and submit their information to as many colleges as they’d like.

Should I take the ACT/SAT before applying to college?

Take the ACT/SAT before beginning the application process. Most schools require an ACT or SAT score to be considered for admission. It is a good idea to make sure your most up-to-date scores are sent to the colleges you are interested in.


You are invited to apply to Bluffton University after your junior year in high school. Applications are accepted after June 1. Bluffton operates on a rolling admission plan. This means you will know if you are admitted shortly after all admission materials are received.

Written by Bluffton University senior Beth Weigandt,
with information from the Bluffton University admissions counselors.