Is it too late to apply for college in US?

The short answer is no. BUT, you’re behind the ideal schedule. 

That being said, just because you’re beginning the process later than most doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get into a great college. It just means you’ve got some catching up to do in the next few months and you may need to reframe some of your thinking.

 Here are some ground realities: 

  1. You will not be able to apply Early Decision for most colleges. Some colleges have an ED 2 application in January which you could still go for
  2. Most scholarship dates have also passed. his means that if finances are a concern, you will need to consider other ways to meet your financial needs. You could think about applying to colleges with solid financial aid packages or lower tuition costs.
  3. Keep in mind that college applications are not a process to be rushed. You might be tempted to hurry through your personal statement or get your standardized tests over in one fell swoop, but this isn’t wise since it likely won’t project your most polished image. You’re going to need to slow down enough to do your best work. If this means that you miss some deadlines, you may need to find schools with later ones. (Don’t worry, we’ll provide a list further down).
  4. In addition, realize that your personal time crunch does not mean someone else’s crisis. This is a busy time of year for everyone, and teachers and guidance counselors have many students who need their help. You might feel particularly stressed about waiting your turn, but it’s helpful to remember that you aren’t the only one trying to meet application deadlines, even if you’ve gotten a late start.

What Are the Most Important Things To Do Right Away?

There are a handful of things that you need to get started on right away in order to maximize the amount of time you have left: 

  1. Register to take standardized tests: There are December SAT and ACT test dates that you can register for by phone until mid-November. After that, you’re looking at a February ACT or a March SAT. Getting these planned as soon as possible will leave you the most options. We also consider looking at Test optional schools. Some of the top schools in the country are going test optional or test blind.
  2. Start making a college list: For now, focus on schools that you truly want to attend and don’t worry about application deadlines. You might still be able to make a January deadline if the pieces fall into place and if not, you can make another informed decision as the situation warrants. Have a look at our blog to learn about how to make a college list?
  3. Request teacher recommendations: When you do so, be sure to communicate that you realize how late you are in requesting these and that you are truly grateful to the teachers who agree to take them on in a timely manner. For more information about selecting a teacher to write your recommendations, check out our pos about What Makes a Good Recommendation Letter.  

Can I Still Make a January 1 or January 15 Deadline?

The good news is, you might still be able to make one of these deadlines if the stars align in your favor. What do we mean by this?

First of all, you will absolutely need to make sure that you take your standardized tests in December and that you do well enough on them to leave you some options.

In addition, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough time to gather all the necessary application materials including letters of recommendation, personal statements, and transcripts.

While it’s not impossible to make a January application deadline, you might not be putting your best foot forward if you have to really rush in order to do so. The good news is, there are plenty of schools with deadlines beyond January.

Which Schools Have Deadlines Past January 15?

Here are some of our favorite colleges with later application deadlines.

Great Options With Feb 1 Deadlines:

• Baylor University

• Colorado State University Fort Collins

• Cornell College

• DePauw University

• Dickinson College

• Hobart and William Smith Colleges

• Marist College

• Merrimack College

• Quinnipiac University

• Rhode Island School of Design

• Roger Williams University

• Simmons College

• St Lawrence University

• Trinity University

Great Options With Feb 15 Deadlines:

• Allegheny College

• Assumption College

• Brigham Young University Hawaii

• Creighton University

• Drew University

• Earlham College

• Emmanuel College

• Endicott College

• Howard University

• Morehouse College

• Rollins College

• Texas Christian University

• Washington College

Great Options With Rolling Admissions:

• Indiana University

• Loyola Marymount

• Michigan State

• Pace University

• Penn State

• Quinnipiac

• Roger Williams

• Rutgers

• University of Alabama

• University of Maine

• University of Minnesota

• University of New Haven

• University of Pittsburgh

• University of Tulsa

If the calendar has turned to November and you’re just getting started on your college applications, you are probably starting to feel the heat. Don’t worry; it is still possible to get it all done and get into a great school.

If you need a little help along the way, consider contacting us. Every year we get students who have a change of heart in the last minute and we are always to help! Best of luck!!