college enrollment requirementsKeeping track of everything you need to get into college can be a headache. Do you need an essay? Are you supposed to take that test? How do you know if you qualify? The answers to these questions can be different for every college and university.

Of course, the most comprehensive list will be found at your college of choice’s website or office. Make sure you read it all carefully. To help you get started, we’ve provided a list of five items that most colleges will require:

1. High school diploma or GED

Many community colleges won’t require this, but once you try to transfer to a four-year college, you will absolutely need either a high school diploma or a GED. All four-year colleges require that you complete high school (or the equivalent) before you apply with them.

2. Transcripts

This only applies if you already have some college credit under your belt. You’ll need to request that a copy of your transcripts from your past schools be sent to the college at which you are applying. Just as a warning, you will likely have to pay a small fee to have this done. Your prospective college will use your transcripts to gauge your academic performance and to determine which of your credits can be transferred to their school. Another warning: it is very common for four-year colleges to not accept all of your credits from other schools.

3. SAT/ACT Score

This applies only to some four-year colleges, usually those that receive more applications than they can accept. Most of these schools require that you take one of these tests, but never both. Find out if the school you’re interested in requires one of these exams and, if they do, which one. If they do, you’ll want to give this challenging test all of your attention for a couple months.

4. Application

Every college, two-year or four-year, will require that fill out an application. For more competitive colleges, you will be required to submit essays and letters of recommendation. Less competitive colleges will ask only that you fill out the application. Nowadays, most of these applications can be completed online, but some colleges may provide only paper applications. Contact your college of choice to find out what their preferences are.

5. Assessment Tests

To make sure that incoming students have the basic math and writing skills they need to survive in college, most colleges will require that you take assessments tests in both subjects. A student who fails one of these tests will have to take a remedial course to get caught up for no college credit before they can sign up for any classes in that subject.

6. Acceptance

Of course, you can’t officially enroll unless the college accepts your application first. For some colleges, this will come in the form of an email or a letter. For other schools, they may inform you when you come in. Once you receive that acceptance, you are ready to get information on financial aid and registering for classes. Congratulations!

As with all of these items, every college has their own way doing things. If you have any questions about enrollment requirements, contact your prospective college directly to get answers.

Are you thinking about enrolling in college? What questions have you had about the enrollment process? Tell us in the comments below!

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