College Planning

  • Applying to College

    Some colleges use an online application that can be used at multiple universities (such as the Common Application) & others still rely on their own institutional applications. Either way, many of the steps are the same. Nearly all NC Schools also accept applications through CFNC's application hub.

    1. Research college options.

    2. Determine which colleges you will apply to -you should have 3 to 5 colleges selected to apply to. Be aware of their deadlines!

    3. Apply for admission

      • Complete RDS by logging in with your CFNC account information. HERE is a document that details what you will need to complete your RDS application. HERE is a video to show you how to complete your RDS application.

      • Send your high school transcript (if you have taken any college classes, you will also need to send your Gaston College transcript through your WebAdvisor account)

      • Send official SAT/ACT score(s) (these must be sent though SAT or ACT)

      • Letters of recommendation (if required)

      • Submit essay(s) (if required)

      • Pay application fee. If you qualify for a fee waiver, see your School Counselor


    Choosing Colleges

    Ask yourself some questions about the kind of college you want:

    • Large or small?

    • Type of college? -see the different types of colleges HERE

    • Urban, Suburban, or rural?

    • What's your major?

    • How selective is the school and/or program?

    • How much will it cost?


    Where you can learn about basic college categories & answer questions about your preferences. You will also find in-depth information about searching for colleges along with advice from college students & educators.

    If you're looking at North Carolina colleges (2-year, 4-year, public, or private), you can use CFNC's College Search. Once you find schools through CFNC, you can also apply & send your transcripts electronically. HERE is a video that shows you how to complete a college application through CFNC.

College Information

  • College Application Links

    Common App

    The Common Application is accepted by over 900 colleges and universities for admission, allowing you to fill out one application that can be sent to several colleges and universities at one time.


    College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC)

    CFNC allows you to submit your college application(s) to select colleges and universities in North Carolina, submit your Residency Determination Service (RDS) application, and provides resources for completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).



    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) assists students with obtaining scholarships, grants, and loans to pay for college. Students and one parent/guardian will need to create an FSA ID first. Once an FSA ID has been created, students can then go to the FAFSA website to complete their application. Make sure to select all the colleges you are interested in so that each school will receive your FAFSA application.


    CSS Profile

    This profile is another financial aid form used by select colleges and universities. This form MUST be completed in addition to the FAFSA for the following NC colleges/universities: UNC Chapel Hill, Davidson College, Duke University, Wake Forest University, and Elon University.


    NCAA Eligibility Center

    Prospective student-athletes are able to access information needed to understand the Division I and II eligibility requirements. You must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to play college sports.