College/University Application Process

Transfer Application Questions?

Applying to universities can be overwhelming and you may encounter many questions along the way. We have created a guide to help with the most frequently asked questions about applying to universities. In addition, we have provided a lot of detailed guidance in the sections below.

When to Apply for Transfer

Begin applying to universities six to nine months prior to the quarter you would like to transfer. However, the preparation process can start in advance. You do not need to have completed all of your coursework at North before applying to a university. In most cases you would not have finished coursework.

Look up Deadlines

Each university has different application deadlines. Research the application dates for universities you are interested in.

General deadlines for schools in Washington state:

Be sure to contact the university you are interested in to check if there are program or departmental deadlines you should know about.

Note: Some majors have separate applications and deadlines. Please check to see if your major will require a separate application.

Application Fee

Most applications require  a non-refundable application fee.  Some universities may waive the fee based on different conditions. Check with universities regarding this option.

Common Application

Over 500 universities and colleges around the country use the Common Application. If you are applying to a school that uses the Common Application, you will be required to get certain information from North Seattle College. To read more about how to complete Common Application at North, visit our Common Application page.

Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, complete a Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA).

Here are some important tips for applying for financial aid:

  • • Apply early! The new FAFSA is posted in early January every year. Fill out the form as early as possible and have it sent to all the schools to which you think you might apply. Many schools have priority deadlines for filling out the FAFSA. In order to maximize the amount of aid your receive, be sure to meet those deadlines.
  • • Apply annually! If you filled the FAFSA out in the past, you will need to fill it out again and continue to do so every year that you are in school.
  • • Respond to inquiries. The schools you apply to may ask you to submit additional documents. Respond promptly.
  • • Wait for your award letter. Each school that you are admitted to will send you a letter that details the grants or loans that they plan to offer you. This may come electronically or by mail.


Be sure to investigate scholarship opportunities at every four-year institution you are considering, as well as through other organizations. Search in multiple places. There are thousands of scholarship opportunities each year. Most have a separate application process. Scholarships are often given based on your major, demographic information or income. Be sure to look for scholarships that are specific to you

Check out these resources to get started with your scholarship search:

Request official transcripts from all colleges you have attended. You must submit all transcripts even if you don’t like your grades or if you think your coursework will not count. Submit all transcripts even if you have already sent them to North. Find out how to order official transcripts from North.

Personal Statement

Most universities require a personal statement/essay. For more information about personal statements, explore Page One Writing Center's resources and/or attend a personal statement workshop. See the College Transfer events calendar to learn when the next workshop will be.

Letters of Recommendation

Some schools require letters of recommendation. If so, begin asking your instructors, counselor, advisor or others for recommendations as soon as possible. Recommenders usually require several weeks advance notice so that they can write a thoughtful and detailed letter. Be sure to ask people who know you well and can speak to what kind of student you are.