Is it apply FOR or TO? What’s the difference?

We use “apply to” + place and “apply for” + thing.

We use “apply to” when we say where we are applying.

I am applying to Harvard University.

Are you applying to any colleges in your area?

We use “apply for” when we say for what we are applying.

I am applying for a job.

She is applying for a promotion. 

You need collateral when you apply for a loan.

We don’t need a preposition when you don’t mention the place or thing(it is often implied).

Apply now and win a trip to Florida!

Does not apply To or For?

We usually use the preposition “to “ after the phrase “does not apply”.

Those rules do not apply to him.

That doesn’t apply to me! 

Applied ON or TO?

To “apply on” or “to” can both be correct depending on the context.

A good example is applying paint on/to or onto a wall.

We use the preposition “on” with surfaces and a “wall” counts as a surface. The preposition “to” is used when moving something from one place to another.

In fact, we can combine “on” and “to” to make “onto”.

He applied the paint onto the wall.

She applied her makeup onto her face.

You can also replace “onto” with either “on” or “to” depending on if you want to emphasize the surface(the face, the wall) or the movement. 

Apply for or to a job?

To “apply for a job” is correct.

Apply for or to a University?

To “apply to a University “is correct.

Apply for or to a college?

To “apply to a college “is correct.

Apply for or to a program?

To “apply for a program “is correct.

Apply for or to a course?

To “apply for a course “is correct.