What to Know About Your Upcoming College Application Deadline

We know the holidays are here and you have a lot going on, but regular decision college application deadlines are fast approaching! If you’ve put it off until last minute or have to get a few papers together still, here’s what you need to know to make sure you have your college applications in by those deadlines.

Deadline is coming

What are College Applications Deadlines?

For regular decision, most college applications are due on January 1st. There are exceptions, though. Some schools may not require it until the 4th, 5th, or 15th, while others have a deadline in February! It also goes the other way – there are a couple of colleges and universities that actually have regular decision deadlines in December or even November so make sure you do your research!

Be sure to reach out to your potential colleges to get the actual date or find it on their website. Each school is different and will have varying application processes, so you don’t want to assume all are the same. Students applying under regular decision can usually expect to hear back by March or April.

If you’re applying under Early Decision or Early Action, these will also have different deadlines, often in November and December. A few schools even now offer Early Decision II with an application due date in January.

You Procrastinated. What Now?

If you’ve put off completing your college applications until December, it’s time to get moving. Delaying could result in you having an incomplete application by January 1st, which will not be accepted and almost all schools will not accept a late submission, even if you had technical issues on January 1st at 11:30pm, so be prepared.

The most important thing you can do when it comes to getting them done in time is to get started now. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week.

What Are You Missing?

Start by determining what you need for each college. Make a checklist and see what pieces of the puzzle you’re missing. If you need letters of recommendation, reach out to adults in your life as soon as possible and let them know you’re under a tight deadline. Some may not be able to write it in a few days, so you will need alternatives. Teachers and your volunteer organizations are great place to start.

Schedule Your Work

Once you have an outline of what you’re missing and what you need, create a schedule. Put time aside each day for essay work, review, application forms, and other details that may be needed for January 1, or whatever your college’s application deadline is. By creating a schedule, you’ll find it easier to keep track of what goes where without overloading yourself on top of your senior year and the holidays.

Don’t Wait Until January 1st

As mentioned above, schools don’t care if you had a technical problem 30 minutes before the deadline. Your application will most likely not be accepted. Although you have a due date of January 1st, it’s a good idea to have your paperwork ready to go and submitted a week before. This ensures if you run into any technical issues or any other problems, they’re solved ahead of time.

Did you know that College Raptor provides information about each schools’ applications, due dates, and fees under the school profile? You’ll definitely want to double check with your school, but you can start your research using our search tool.