College Application Process

Pay Attention to Deadlines throughout the application process for admissions, housing, scholarships, and financial aid.


  • Write or e-mail to the college Office of Admissions (allow at least 10 days for mailing). Many applications, and most Colorado applications, address and phone numbers for colleges are available on the internet.
  • Request current information on:
    • Housing
    • Scholarships
    • Financial aid
    • College Catalog (there may be a fee)


  • Testing: ACT, SAT I, SAT II
  • Register for tests in the spring of junior year or fall of senior year (Boulder Prep will help you with the online registration)
  • Register through the mail or on-line.
  • Have ACT report scores sent to colleges of interest and BPHS (code: 060-132)
  • Academic Units
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essays


  • Letters of Recommendation (if required): Make appointments for personal interviews with teachers a month before the application mailing date. Allow at least 3 weeks after your interview for your letter to be written.
  • Letters of Recommendation for colleges with a January 1 application deadline: You must have your personal interview with your Senior Advisor by November 1. (Remember these applications must be mailed before winter break)
  • Letters of Recommendation for colleges with a January 15 or February 1 deadline: You must have your personal interview with your Senior Advisor by November 15.
  • Personal Essay (if required):
  • Prepare before you write; talk about your essay with your advisors, parents, Language Arts teachers, etc.
  • Have someone proofread your essay.


  • Please allow 20 days for the Registrar’s Office to process your application.
  • Bring the completed application and/or school report to your Senior advisor. For each application, remember to attach:
    • a check payable to the college for the admissions fee or
    • request for waiver letter
  • Complete College Application History form with your Senior Advisor.
  • Your Senior Advisor will attach your transcript (includes test scores) and complete the GPA and class rank info
  • To be considered official, your transcript must be mailed to the college by Boulder Prep High School.
  • Transcript fees: Free
  • It is not necessary to wait for ACT test scores before applying to colleges.


  • Check with your college(s) if a mid-year transcript is required.
  • Complete the mid-year transcript request in December in the Registrar Office


  • Notification takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for rolling admissions (longer if have to wait for SAT or ACT scores)
  • Non-rolling admissions are notified in spring
  • Colleges communicate directly with applicant
  • Inform your Senior Advisor!
  • In May, be sure to come to the Registrar’s Office to request a final transcript to be sent to the college of your choice.

Top 10 College Application Mistakes

Senior year is hectic, but don’t let it affect the quality of your college applications. Take your time, pay attention to detail and plan ahead so you can meet the deadlines.

Following are some of the top responses from counselors and admissions staff who shared the most common mistakes on college applications.

  1. Misspellings and grammatical errors-This is a big pet peeve of admissions people. If you misspell on something as important as the application, it shows that either you don’t care or you aren’t good at spelling. Some students even misspell their intended major. But don’t stop with a spell check. Proofread for grammatical errors, too.
  2. Applying online, but the application isn’t submitted-If you apply online, you should receive confirmation that the college or university received it. Confirmation could be an email message, a Web page response or a credit card receipt. Follow through and make sure that your application has been received.
  3. Forgotten signatures-Make sure you sign and date the form. Often students overlook that part of the form if it’s on the back. Check that all spaces are completed.
  4. Not reading carefully-For example, if the form asks what County you live in, don’t misread it as Country and write United States.
  5. Listing extracurricular activities that aren’t-Those that make the list include sports, the arts, formal organizations and volunteer work. Talking on the phone and hanging out with friends don’t make the cut. Make sure your activity information is accurate. Colleges may check with your high school.
  6. Not telling your Senior Advisor where you’ve applied-Let your advisor know which colleges you’re applying to, and ask him or her to review your high school transcript before sending it to colleges. Sometimes transcripts have errors.
  7. Writing illegibly-First impressions count, so take your time and use your best handwriting. It will make a better impression.
  8. Using an email address that friends might laugh about, but colleges won’t-Select a professional email address. Keep your fun address for friends, but select an address using your name for college admissions. You can sign up for a professional email with
  9. Not checking your email regularly-If you’ve given an email address, the college will use it. You don’t want to miss out on anything because you didn’t read your email.
  10. Letting Mom or Dad help you fill out your application-Admissions people know if your parents help, whether you have two different styles of handwriting or your admissions essay sounds more like a 45-year-old than a 17-year-old. It’s fine to get advice, but do the work yourself.

(Adapted from source at