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The tnAchieves Blog

#TimeToApply Admissions Checklist

Click here for a printable version of this checklist!

May 27, 2020


Complete your college admissions application

Online college applications are quick and easy to submit. By Googling your desired institution and selecting the Admissions tab on their website, you can begin the college-going process by filling out their initial information request.



Submit your final high school transcript

Contact your high school counselor to have your official and final high school transcript sent to your college’s admissions office.


Send ACT/SAT scores or take a placement test

If you did not select your college to receive your ACT/SAT score on test day, log into your portal on the respective website to send your official scores. If you did not take the ACT/SAT, you may be required to take a placement test at your institution before beginning college-level classes.


Provide proof of U.S. citizenship or lawfully present status

A driver’s license or state-issued ID should be sufficient to determine your legality, along with having completed the 2020-2021 FAFSA.


Submit transcripts from dual enrollment courses if completed at another institution

Dual enrollment courses help you get a head start on college credits, but if you will be attending a different college this fall term than where you completed those classes, you will need those transcripts sent from the previous records office to your future college’s admissions office.


Set up your college email and log into your student portal

Your college email is the primary method of communication between you and your chosen institution, so it is imperative you check it regularly. A student portal offers you access to your college transcripts, registered classes and other helpful links, so logging in and ensuring no action is needed on your end starts you out on the right foot.


Upload any necessary outstanding documents

If selected for financial aid verification, you may need to provide additional tax documents to your college to verify information reported on your FAFSA. Oftentimes, these forms may be uploaded through your college portal.


Possible documents your college may request are listed below:

  • Prior year tax return transcript
  • W-2 or Proof of Earnings statement
  • Dependent or independent student worksheet
  • 1099 tax form
  • Notarized proof of identity
  • High school transcript or GED results


Meet with an advisor/success coach to register for fall classes

Registering early on in the summer ensures getting into the classes you need at the times you want. Be mindful of your work hours and commute when deciding on what time of day you will be on campus. If you are beginning at a community college with plans to transfer after gaining an associates degree, use the Tennessee Transfer Pathway guides while picking your courses.


Attend new student orientation

Most colleges require students to get acclimated to campus and college procedures, whether held in-person or virtually. Your student portal will contain important next steps on reserving your spot or completing your requirement.


Confirm schedule

Before a student can attend class, he/she may need to confirm his/her schedule and accept financial aid applied toward their account. If you have any class-specific fees, this is when payment for those balances will be due.