Apply to Colleges
About the Scholarship
Once you have a strong college list with a mix of schools, it’s time to apply.
Seniors who apply to two or more colleges will earn entries in monthly drawings for $500 and $40,000 scholarships.
How to Qualify
- Go to your college list on BigFuture.
- Make sure the colleges you applied to are there.
- Add any missing colleges where you also applied.
- After applying, change the status of colleges on your list to Applied, Accepted, Waitlisted or Denied.
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 like location, size, and majors. If you haven't already, research things like financial aid packages, variety of academic programs, special programs like study abroad, clubs and activities on campus, and housing options.
- How many colleges should I apply to?
Most counselors recommend that students apply to five to eight colleges they’d be happy to attend. It's good to apply to some colleges that are a bit of a stretch for you and some you feel will likely admit you.
- What are the Coalition and Common Applications?
They’re standardized applications you use to apply to multiple schools. Instead of filling out six different applications, you simply fill out one and submit it to each college.
- The Coalition Application is accepted by more than 150 institutions. The platform includes The Locker, a private space for you to collect and organize materials throughout high school 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’re 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
As soon as you confirm you applied to two or more colleges, you’ll be automatically entered into drawings for $500 and $40,000.
- You’ll get 1 entry in monthly drawings for $40,000 scholarships. Complete additional steps on BigFuture to earn more entries.
- Whenever students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year apply to colleges, they’ll earn an extra entry in monthly drawings and have double the chances at a scholarship. Half of all awards are reserved for students who meet the income criteria.
Scholarships for $500 will be awarded at the end of February 2023. Scholarships for $40,000 are awarded every month until February 2023; these drawings occur on the first day of the month.
Dates and Deadlines
Scholarships for $500 and $40,000 are awarded monthly until February of your senior year. Completing any step enters you in the drawings on the first day of every month. For $500 scholarships, we select 150 winners from the class of 2024 and 150 from the class of 2025 every month. For $40,000 scholarships, we select a total of two monthly (one from class of 2024 and another from class of 2025). Drawings occur on the first day of every month.
Can I earn entries for the colleges I’m thinking about applying to? Or should I complete my college applications and update my list when my college applications have been submitted?
Submit your college applications and then update BigFuture with the list of schools where you applied. If you’re selected as a winner of a scholarship, you’ll be required to provide confirmation of your applications to the colleges on your list.
Can I earn an entry for applying to two-year institutions?
Yes. You can earn entries in the scholarship drawings by applying to two- and four-year institutions.
What if I applied early decision and I don't intend to apply to a second college? Can I still qualify for the Apply to Colleges scholarship?
You can still qualify if you applied binding early decision. On the BigFuture dashboard, once you’ve listed the college where you applied early decision, enter “early decision” in the second text box to earn your entry. Consider preparing other applications as you wait to hear back from your early decision school because you may only have a few weeks left to apply to other schools if you need to.
Keep in mind that, early action and early decision are different. If you applied early action, you’ll need to indicate a second college you’ve applied to qualify for this scholarship. For more information about applying early decision versus early action, review this article.
How will I know when I've earned an entry?
After you confirm on BigFuture that you applied to two or more colleges, you’ll be automatically entered in drawings unless you opt out of participation. You’ll see an update on your dashboard on BigFuture when you earn entries for $500 and $40,000. You’ll also get an email to confirm your drawing entries.
If I apply to for-profit colleges and include them in my list of college applications, will I be eligible for an entry?
Yes. However, keep the following in mind: Pursuant to the Official Rules, if you’re selected for a scholarship, we'll not be able to disburse scholarship(s) to colleges that aren't Title IV institutions.