Apply for Admission

You must apply for admission at each individual campus you may wish to attend. A general timeline, links to the campuses, and details regarding the admission process and steps are listed below.

Junior Year
Senior Year

Junior Year

September-December

  • Map out a testing schedule. Plan to take tests, including: the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and/or ACT.
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT or PLAN Test. Take these tests as practice college admissions tests. The PSAT/NMSQT also establishes your eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program and additional scholarship programs.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor. Review your course plan for the school year and plan your senior class schedule.
  • Make a list of entrance requirements. Look up the minimum acceptance requirements for entering freshmen at your top colleges, such as grade point average, high school subject credits, and standardized test scores.
  • Meet with your school counselor. After your PSAT /NMSQT or PLAN scores come in, schedule a meeting and bring your list of entrance requirements. With your counselor, determine if your list of colleges is reasonable or needs to be adjusted, and if your current and future high school classes are appropriate.
  • Begin to establish criteria for your college search. Ask yourself: Are you interested in a small rural college or a large urban campus? Visit some local colleges to learn what you do and don’t like.

January- August

  • Contact the colleges you are interested in. Find out if they prefer the ACT or the SAT.
  • Visit schools that interest you. Plan travel during spring break or summer vacation. Check with the admissions office in advance. Learn what times they conduct regular tours. Make appointments with the departments of financial aid, admissions, academic advisors, professors, and students. Use these visits to compare campuses, learn more about their programs and help narrow your selection.……
  • Request information. Contact the colleges that interest you and request admissions procedures and financial aid information.
  • Consider registration. Register for the May and June SAT and ACT test dates.

Senior Year

September-December

  • Register to retake the SAT and/or ACT, if necessary. You can take these tests as many times as you want through the April testing date in your senior year. You should take these exams at least six weeks before your earliest college admissions
  • Request letters of recommendation. Obtain letters from teachers, coaches, and other adults who are familiar with your accomplishments.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor. Review your final list of colleges.
  • Make sure you have all the applications. Have the required forms for financial aid and admission, and make a list of deadlines.
  • File early decision applications. Now is the time to file if you have made a decision.
  • Have official test scores sent. Make sure the testing agency sends your official test scores to the colleges on your short list. Complete and submit your college applications.

January

  • Request grade reports/transcripts. Have your school send your grade reports and/or transcripts to the colleges you applied to.
  • Contact the colleges. Confirm that all application materials (transcripts, recommendations, and financial aid forms) have been received.

February

  • Be on the lookout for your Student Aid Report (SAR). After completing the FAFSA, you will be receiving the SAR.  Now’s your chance to make any corrections, if needed.
  • Finish scholarship applications. Now is the time to complete any outstanding scholarship applications.

April

  • Review documents. Review all acceptances and compare financial aid packages.

May

  • Decide which college you will attend. By May 1, you should decide on a college. Notify other prospective colleges that you have selected another school.
  • Talk to admissions staff. If your first-choice college placed you on a waiting list, you should let the admissions staff know that you are still interested in attending.

June

  • Talk to your counselor. Ask your counselor to forward your final transcript to the college.
  • Contact the college. Determine when fees are due for tuition and room and board.

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Montana University System • Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
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