Apply to Colleges

About the Scholarship

Once you have a strong college list with a balanced mix of schools, it will be time to apply.

Students who apply to two or more colleges will earn a chance at a $1,000 scholarship.

The College Board will award 500 Apply to Colleges scholarships in February 2021. The scholarship opens in October 2020 and students can earn entries for the Apply scholarship from October 2020 through February 2021.

How to Qualify

Once you apply to colleges, log in to the College Board Opportunity Scholarships and list the schools that you've applied to. Apply to at least two colleges to earn one entry in the Apply to Colleges scholarship drawing. Earn one additional entry for each additional college that you apply to up a total of six colleges.

Get Started

  1. Join the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program.
  2. Go to My Action Plan and select the Apply to Colleges scholarship card.
  3. List at least two colleges that you've applied to.

Tips for Applying to Colleges

  • How should I decide where to apply to college?

    Once you've made a list of colleges you're interested in, the next step is to narrow down the list to colleges you'll apply to. If you're at this point in the process, you've probably already looked into things such as location, size and majors offered. If you haven't already, research things like financial aid packages, variety of academic programs offered, special programs like study abroad, clubs and activities on campus, and housing options. You can also use BigFuture's Compare Colleges tool to compare schools that you're interested in.

  • How many colleges should I apply to?

    Most counselors recommend that students apply to five to eight colleges and they should all be colleges you'd be happy to attend. It's good to apply to some colleges that are a bit of a stretch for you and some that you feel will likely admit you.

  • What are the Coalition and Common Applications?

    These are examples of college application services that provide standardized applications which allow you to apply to multiple schools with a single application. Instead of filling out six different applications, you can simply fill out one and submit it to each college.

    • The Coalition Application is accepted by more than 140 institutions. The platform includes “The Locker,“ a private space for you to collect and organize materials throughout high school that you might want to share with colleges and universities
    • The Common Application is a standardized application used by nearly 900 colleges. Each year, nearly a million students use the Common Application to submit over 4 million applications.
  • Should I apply early?

    It depends. If you are sure about which college you want to attend, early decision or early action might be the best choice for you. If you're not sure, keep in mind that early decision application plans require you to commit early. You may want to keep your options open

Increase Your Chances

For each additional college you apply to, up to a total of six colleges, you'll earn an additional entry for the Apply to Colleges scholarship. Most counselors recommend that students apply to five to eight colleges. You should apply to a mix of reach, match, and safety colleges.

Dates and Deadlines

You can list the colleges that you've applied to in My Action Plan beginning in October 2020 through the end of February 2021. The drawing for the $1,000 Apply to Colleges scholarships will occur on March 1, 2021 and all entries earned will apply to that drawing date.

For students in the class of 2021, the Apply to Colleges scholarship will open in October 2020 when students begin applying for college admission.

Drawing Notifications

500 students will be randomly selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship. 250 of those scholarships will go to students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year.

We'll notify winning students by email to check their results on the My Achievements page.

Earn scholarships for college!