As winter approaches, university transfer application due dates draw nearer. Submitting applications as early as possible is helpful in the admissions process, especially if the school has rolling admissions (processing applications in the order they arrive). Getting familiar with websites such as Common Application and Coalition will help make the process go more smoothly.

Common Application and Coalition are one-stop shops for applying to college. Both sites help coordinate applicants, applications, all universities the applicant wants to apply to, and recommendations. These websites are designed so that information only has to be filled in once for all chosen schools. It allows applicants to view due dates and review information on all of their applications. It also gives reminders and notifies individuals when their recommendations have been submitted. Most public and private universities accept applications through these platforms.

Once all school choices have been made and information has been added, the only component left is essays. Not all college applications require essays for submission, but many offer an essay option. Submissions of essays can help strengthen an application and also assist the potential colleges in getting to know more about applicants. Submitting essays can also increase the chance of acceptance for applicants. “Optional essays? Write them. A chance to elaborate on your extracurricular activities? Take it. For students on the bubble, that bit of extra effort can make the difference in whether or not you’re admitted,” Katherine Hobson writes in a 2017 US News article. Anne Chaconas writes on the LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog, “My basic assumption is this: If a school actually gives you an optional essay topic in their application, the chances are pretty good they want to hear what you have to say–if you have anything substantial to say.”

Typically, schools give multiple topics as options for their essay. Most college application essays are designed to help the prospective schools understand why an individual is choosing to apply, what makes them a good applicant, and why they should be accepted.. Choosing which topic works best is an individualistic process. To ensure the essay is strong, college admissions staff suggest asking others to look over and proofread the essay.

If parts of the application are unclear, students can contact people from the admissions center at the prospective schools. Having questions clarified before submission ensures that the application is filled out properly, and asking questions in no way hinders an applicant’s chances of being accepted. If unsure of which major, it can also be helpful to contact counselors from both current and prospective schools.

Deadline cutoffs for Oregon university applications:
Portland State University: Rolling
University of Oregon: May 15
Southern Oregon University: February 1
Western Oregon University: Rolling
Eastern Oregon University: Rolling