What are the most important documents for your university application?

Hi, I hope you are well and keeping safe? This post is going to address a question that comes up at work every day. Almost no work day ends with me being asked, “what documents do I need to apply to the university with?” Well, documents needed vary at times for some courses like art or design where a student may be asked to submit a portfolio however, there are general and important documents that need to be submitted along with the initial contact to the university to make an application.

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Submitting important documents along with your application increases your acceptance rate, that is, if your grades meet up with the academic requirements. It saves you time and also saves them time. Win win for both parties right? This is because it shows that you took your time to find out what documents you need and know which ones are the most important.

What then, are the most important documents required for a university application? When I say important, I don’t mean that other documents are not important but with these, you can be guaranteed a conditional offer at the very least.

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  1. International Passport: this is a means of identification for you so they know how your name is exactly and also to check your certificates and documents, if they match. If they don’t maych, you will need to explain why with an affidavit or marriage certificate, as the case may be. Another very important reason is the fact that it is an essential travel document! If you want to study abroad, you definitely need an international passport and the university needs to see this.
  2. Academic Certificate: for an undergraduate application, this would be your high school leaving certificate with your grades on it. At postgraduate level, this would be the certificate you received at graduation.
  3. Academic Transcripts: transcript is a breakdown of all the subjects/courses you did whilst studying and your grades for each one. It gives more information about what you studied. The university needs to see this so they admissions team can check if what you studied at Bachelor level matches some of the courses they are looking out for before offering you a place to study with them. This is required more at postgraduate level but sometimes requested for undergraduate applications.
  4. Personal Statement: they need to know more about you other than what they see on your passport, certificate and transcripts. They would like to know more about you and your reason for choosing to study with them. Here’s a link if you want more details about How to write a personal statement- university application. The post has been helpful for some of my students.
  5. Reference letters: for undergraduate applicants, they require two academic references and for undergraduate, they require one academic and one professional reference. Here, please approach the teacher, lecturer, professor, supervisor who really likes you and would literally sing your praise! Someone who genuinely has good things to say about you during your studies or at your work place. Some refer to it as a letter of recommendation.
  6. CV/Resume: this is required for those who have left high school for more than one year. It is necessary because it explains study gaps and for postgraduate level, it shows your qualifications and work experience. It also shows other skills you have.
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When all these documents are submitted, the admissions officer would know that you did your research and you know what is required for you to be offered a place.

However, there are some situations where a certificate might not be ready or available to the student yet, for instance. In this case, to save time, an application can be made with an explanation that the document will be submitted as soon as it has been received. Admission officers understand this because universities work with different dates of graduation so they leave an allowance period for such delays.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope this helps you in a way. Let me know if you have any questions. I will be happy to assist. Keep well. Smile as much as you can. Be kind. Never give up. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. Bye for now 👋

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