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About Applying

How many colleges should I apply to?

What agency administers State financial aid programs?
Maryland Higher Education Commission
Department of Budget and Management
Maryland State Department of Education

This will vary depending on the type of college you are interested in. If you know that you want to go to a community college and then transfer to a four-year college or attend a private career school, applying only to the community college or private career school may be enough.

If you plan to attend a four-year college or university, 4 to 8 colleges is a common range. Talk with your guidance counselor and parents to decide what is best for you. A good rule of thumb is to apply to a “reach” school (one that might be difficult to be admitted to) and one “safety” school (one that might be easier to be admitted to).

Where do I get a college application?

Applications are available online from the college or university. You can also call or write to the admissions office to request one. Some colleges accept the same application, called the Common Application Open New Window. Historically Black Institutions also have a Shared Application Open New Window. All or only parts of these applications may be accepted, so be sure to check the specific requirements for the college you are interested.

When are applications due?

The due date will depend on the college. Most colleges have a December or January deadline for submission. Earlier decision options require a November or sooner submission. There are also colleges that have rolling admissions, meaning there is no specific due date; but the application should be submitted in time to begin in the fall.

What should I do before I submit the application?

First, make sure you followed all directions carefully. The next step is to proofread - always proofread! Even if submitting online, print and proofread the application before submitting it. Finally, you should make a copy of every application for your records.

How is the application submitted?

Most colleges have an online application process, but you can also mail the application. Check with the college to find out the preferred method for submitting the application. Keep in mind that each application usually requires a fee (about $25 to $100+). You may be eligible for an application fee waiver, talk to your guidance counselor about your options.

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