Is It Too Late to Apply to College?
In spring, the race is on and the pressure builds for high
school seniors to decide which college they will attend. Of
course you knew that last September 1 was the date you could
have begun submitting college applications. But here you are
in February - or later - and you are still unsure of where
you want to go. Or maybe you didn't make it into your first
choice schools. Perhaps you needed to pull up your grades
during your last semester, and suddenly it's summer.
Is it too late to apply to college? The answer is No. Several
hundred colleges continue to accept applications and admit
students until the start of the fall semester.
This is the time to look at colleges known as "Late Application"
or "Late Deadline" schools. These schools either have later
application deadlines than most colleges, or are looking for
additional students to meet their freshman class enrollment
goal. Most college application deadlines are March 15, and
accepted students make their decision and submit their deposits
by May 1. Colleges know at this point if they can accommodate
additional applications from potential students. You will
still need to meet GPA and ACT/SAT requirements established
by the college, and expect chances for scholarships and financial
aid to be slim. But there is hope!
Though the media hypes how fierce the competition is to get
into selective colleges, there are actually hundreds of colleges
that have a hard time filling their freshman classes. The
last few years of our recession has made that task even tougher.
It is at these institutions where you can find your higher
Here are seven resources to help you discover these "late
NACAC Space Availability Survey
On May 1, the National
Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC)
publishes their "Space Availability Survey: Openings
for Qualified Students" on their website. In the
May 2011 survey, there were more than 280 out of 1,200
member four-year schools on the list that were still
trying to fill their freshman classes. The majority
of schools, 71%, were private colleges, 29% public universities.
All of them still offered financial aid and 97% had
on-campus housing available. The colleges and universities
on the list continue to update their statistics over
a two month timeframe, until July 1, when NACAC takes
the list down from their website. The opportunity does
not end here, though. There are another 1,000 schools
not represented in this survey that may also have openings.
If there are particular colleges you are interested
in that are not on the list, contact their admissions
Common Application's College Search
The Common Application is used by over 450 colleges
in the U.S and in several European countries. Would
you have thought that you could use the Common App website
to search for schools that are still accepting applications?
You can. First, go to the Common
Application website home page. Then on the Member
Colleges and Universities tab, pull down the menu and
select College Search. On the Search web page, select
"First Year Student", then "Fall 2012"
and finally enter today's date in the "Deadline
on or after" field to produce a list of institutions
that are still accepting applications.
College Board's College Search
The College Search capability on the College Board
website can identify which schools may still be accepting late applications.
Use their College MatchMaker function to search more
than 3,900 4-year colleges and universities. Choose
"4-year" for the type of school and under
the Admissions tab, select "More than 75% accepted"
to ferret out potential colleges. You can also narrow
the list by searching in certain states or using other
criteria, but start using the broadest criteria first.
Peterson's College Search
There is a list of Late Deadline Schools on Peterson's College
website, some of which continue to accept applications until
the start of the semester.
Schools with Rolling Admission
Check with colleges that have rolling admission policies.
If they are still seeking students to reach their freshman
class enrollment goal, they will consider applications
and make decisions as they are received.
Public Universities and Community Colleges
You may find that many public universities extend the
time for accepting applications, and most community
colleges continue to accept applications through the
summer. These local, 2-year schools are a great way
to save money but make sure that you choose courses
that will transfer to your eventual 4-year college.
The Illinois Articulation Agreement website, iTransfer,
can help you identify these courses. If you start your
college career at a community college, it is wise to
know at that time the school and program to which you
plan to transfer. Planning ahead can make this transition
High School Counselors
Your school counselor can be a resource if you have
landed on a wait list or if you decide to appeal a rejection.
They are typically familiar with colleges and admissions
intricacies, so tap them as a resource in your college
You may be feeling anxious because your plans for college are still up in the air.
It happens. Learn about the colleges and programs offered to make sure they are a
good fit for your intended academic major and career goal. Visit the campuses and
talk with admissions counselors, who may have more time for you than during the
busy fall semester. Take time to assemble a quality application package for each
college you identify. Make sure your essays sound like you and reflect your goals
and aspirations. Be able to explain why the school would be a good fit for you,
and the personal and leadership qualities you have to offer. Submit your transcripts
and test scores in a timely manner. Check and double-check your application materials
for typos, mistakes and omissions. Submit your application package. Then, wait for
that email, text, or hefty envelope with good news from the college of your choice!
College Majors Related to Careers
the Whole Picture: Questions to Ask on College Visits
Academic Departments on College Visit Itinerary
to Write a Great College Essay: Be True to Yourself
Essay Tips: Getting to Know Me
the College Admissions Interview
the Answer is Maybe: College Wait Lists
and Life Transitions
© Copyright 2012, Career Vision. Article may be reprinted