How to: Apply to College

Now that you have completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); it’s time to start thinking about where you want to attend college! There are many things to consider when thinking about where you would like to continue your education. Maybe you are looking at attending a Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) or maybe you want to attend a community college. Wherever you choose to go, there are a couple of things that you must know:

  • It is important to think ahead and research the school that you are thinking of attending. You need to think about where you are going to live, if you can afford to attend that institution, and most importantly, you have to make sure they offer your program of study! Not all institutions offer the same programs but you can easily find what they offer on each of their websites. If you are looking at earning a certificate then a TCAT may be right for you! However, if you are wanting to earn your associates degree and then pursue your Bachelor’s Degree then a community college or 4 year institution may be a better fit!
  • After you have decided where you want to attend, it is important to look at that institutions application process. Most TN Promise Schools have rolling admission which means that they do not have a firm application deadline. However, some schools do so it is very important that you are aware of the deadline when considering which college you may attend.tcat
    • TCAT Admission
      • As previously mentioned, if you want to pursue a certificate then a TCAT may be the best fit for you! Each of the 27 TCAT’s have a similar application process. You will first need to visit the website for the TCAT location that you are interested in; once you have done so you will find the Future Student tab and then you will click on admissions. From there it lays out your step by step instructions on how to apply. You will first print and fill out the application. Then you will need to attach your high school or GED transcript as well as your proof of vaccination letter, and any program specific materials that may be required. After you have gathered all your materials, you will send your application to the Student Services address listed on the website and wait to hear about your admission! It is important to apply to a TCAT as soon as you can to avoid being put on a wait list, a lot of their programs do fill up fast!
    • Community College Admission
      • If you decided that a community college was the best fit to continue your education then you can choose what community college fits your needs! Once you have decided on which one you are going to attend; you can visit their website and start the application process. For most of the community colleges, you will be asked to create a login in order to start your online application. I would advise you to write down your login in formation and keep it in a safe place. Once create your login, the application will prompt you for the necessary information. Generally, all of the community colleges will ask you for the same information. They will also ask you to send them your Official ACT Report, High School or GED transcript, Proof of Citizenship, and Immunization Record. Be aware that some community college applications also have an application fee of up to $30 so you may be asked to pay that before submitting your application.college
    • 4-year Institution Admission
      • Maybe you decided you want to continue your education at one of the 4-year public or private institutions that are TN Promise eligible. I want to remind you that if you wanting to take advantage of TN Promise then you must be accepted and enrolled in an associate’s degree program. Also, be aware that TN Promise will not cover all of your tuition and mandatory fees. If you still decide that this is the best fit for you; it is important to be aware of their admissions requirements. Some of these institutions require a minimum GPA or ACT score for admissions so it is important to do your research! First, I would be sure you have met the admissions requirements, if any, and then be sure the application deadline has not passed (some also have rolling admission). Next, I would visit their website and begin the application process. Some institutions may also ask you to write a personal statement or an essay or even personal references so it’s something to keep in mind. Once you begin your application, it will prompt you for all of the necessary information. After completed, you will be asked to send in additional information such as you Official ACT Report, High school or GED transcript, and immunization record. Finally, once you have applied I would suggest visiting someone at the financial aid office of that institution; they will be able to tell you exactly what you may owe in remaining tuition and mandatory fees after TN Promise is applied!waiting

After applying, be sure to double-check that you have submitted all of the required documentation for that institution. This is an exciting time, now all you have to do is wait to hear that you have been accepted!

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