What if I Missed the College Application Deadline?

on April 20, 2016

Which colleges are still accepting applications if you missed the application deadline? That’s a question many procrastinating graduates ask themselves – are you one of them?

Maybe throughout high school you assumed college wasn’t for you, but you’re now rethinking that decision. Perhaps you just waited a little too long and the application deadlines passed you by. Or you may have just realized the college you chose isn’t actually the right one for you.

These things happen. But even if National Decision Day has come and gone, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get into a good school.

So, where do you apply?

Option 1: Community Colleges 


Local community colleges often have later deadlines or rolling admissions plans that allow you to submit your application at any time. These schools are a great option if you weren’t sure about a higher education but want to give it a try, have no idea what you should major in, or if the cost of college discouraged you from applying previously. They’re also ideal if you want to stay close to home or keep your current part-time job to continue earning money on the side.

Option 2: Four-Year Schools With Late Deadlines or Rolling Admissions


Believe it or not, there are four-year colleges and universities that are still accepting applications for fall. Plenty of these are well-known, highly respected institutions – Chicago’s Roosevelt University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Concordia University Portland all have late deadlines or rolling admissions policies.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about heading to a school far from home this late in the game.

  • Housing: On-campus options may be limited at this point. Call the admissions office to see if it’s still possible to sign up for a dorm room. Otherwise, you may need to look into off-campus housing, which can be a little tricky if you don’t know the area very well.
  • You may not get to visit: Your budget and the amount of time you have to apply will determine if you ever actually see the campus before you start classes. The feel of a college can make or break your college experience, and if you’re picky about your environment, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to see the school in person before putting down your deposit.
  • Financial aid might not be significant: Because most financial aid is awarded on a first-come first-served basis, applying late could mean you’re responsible for higher tuition and fees. Your award letter will detail how much you can receive. However, don't rely on institution-specific aid! Outside scholarships can help you pay for school. 

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