Universal Application Deadline: January 1

Have you applied to your colleges yet? The due date is just around the corner! Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming universal application deadline.


When is the Universal Application Deadline?

Many colleges have their regular decision application due date on January 1st. While this is extremely common, it is not a hard and fast rule. Some may have it on a different date in January – the 15th is a popular one. A few don’t have due dates until February, and others have already seen their regular decision deadline pass in November or December.

It’s essential to know the deadlines for each of the colleges on your “to apply to” list ahead of time. This ensures you’re prepared as possible, increasing your chances of getting accepted.

What are the College Application Requirements?

College application requirements depend on the school you’re applying to. Some of the more common items required in the application package include:

  • Your high school transcripts. These can be sent directly by your high school. If your school gives you the transcripts, do not unseal the envelope.
  • ACT or SAT scores. The exam administrators will send the scores if you have notified them of your list of schools. Some schools currently do not require these test scores or have decided they will not review them at all.
  • Application form. Included in your application form, you will need to provide your contact information, if and where you have volunteered and a list of your extracurricular activities. The length of the application form depends on the school – some can be two pages while others are several pages long.
  • Essay or personal statement.
  • Recommendation letters.
  • Application fees.

What Happens if you Miss the Regular Decision Deadline?

Most schools will not accept an application late. Even if you run into technical difficulties with the school’s website the night your applications are due. If you miss the deadline, you will have to reach out to the college or university to see if they will make an exception. If you’re allowed to submit a late application, you will probably have to send it by mail or fax it as they will not allow you to submit using the online portal.

To avoid this situation entirely and avoid being declined, it’s essential that you have all the pieces of your application puzzle ready to go well ahead of time. Do not wait until the last minute to submit or mail in your documents. If it is December and you have not submitted anything, you should be getting your ducks in a row sooner rather than later.

Although January 1st is the “universal application deadline,” you don’t want to wait until that very day to submit your documents. Too many things can go wrong. Completing your applications now can help ensure you get any problems you run into with submissions solved right away and have the stress of college applications behind you.

Once you’ve submitted your application, make sure you do these three things.

Did you know that you can use our search tools to view application data, acceptance data, application fees, and more for individual schools?