Could you please tell me that the author should write

"apply to its communications program"


"apply its communications program"?

I am confused about two different meanings of "apply".

  1. apply skills to something
  2. apply for permition to a university

Also, I am confused about two different meanings of "program".

  1. a radio program which is broadcast on radio
  2. an educational program = a course of study such as "Undergraduate Programs"

My question is from the following article:

The university is considering making major changes to the college radio station. Changes would include an expansion of the station’s broadcasting range, which would allow the radio’s programming to reach nearby towns.

(with to)

One goal of the plan is to attract more students to apply to its communications program.


(without to)

One goal of the plan is to attract more students to apply its communications program.

Another goal is to provide the university with an extra source of revenue. University officials expect the enhanced radio station to significantly increase the number of listeners, which will in turn encourage businesses to place commercials on the radio.

  • 1
    Have you tried to google "apply to its [communications] program" and "apply its [communications] program" and see how those terms are used? Or done any other research? Jul 28, 2022 at 1:33
  • @MarcInManhattan I refered to dictionaries. But I was confused about two meanings of each word. "apply" and "program". Jul 28, 2022 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


There is an important difference:

Apply to [something] refers to submitting an application for something, such as a job, school, or program. Source.

So, that would mean that "apply to its communications program" would imply that students will submit an application to join the program.

On the other hand, applying [something] means to put it to use especially for some practical purpose. Source.

Therefore,"apply its communications program" would suggest that the students will use the program.

Now, as the goal is to increase the number of listeners, I would guess the correct option would be "apply its communications program", meaning the university will encourage students to tune in to the broadcasting to boost numbers and reach such a goal.

Hope that helps!

  • Appreciate it. Your assistance clears up my confustion. That confusion was a bit frustrating for the past few days. Jul 28, 2022 at 1:58
  • Do you think that program means "a course of study"? Such as "The college offers a wide variety of programs of study." or "Undergraduate Programs " Jul 28, 2022 at 2:02
  • 1
    In this specific case, and assuming the correct option is "apply its communications program", no, I don't think it means any of that. I would assume program means that the university has come up with a plan (program) to be followed throughout a specific time and with specific steps to reach a goal (i.e. increase numbers).
    – Lilo
    Jul 28, 2022 at 11:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .