4 Important Deadlines for Scholarship Applications

You know when your college applications are due, but what about potential scholarships? These deadlines may not be as important as your college admissions, but they are essential if you want to try to make college a bit more affordable with a scholarship! Some will even cover your entire tuition if you’re lucky. 

Taking note of scholarship deadlines is essential if you want to increase your chances of winning as most won’t accept late applications. And there are more dates you’ll want to note than the actual due date for the scholarship application! Keep reading to make sure you’re tracking the four important scholarship deadlines: the scholarship’s due date, FAFSA requirements, your qualifying deadlines, and final eligible dates for the SAT or ACT.

An alarm clock - there are many benefits to submitting scholarship applications early

Flickr user Marco Verch

4 Important Deadlines for Scholarship Applications

1. The Scholarship’s Deadline

Of course, when it comes to these financial awards, the main date you’ll need to note is the official scholarship application due date. These can come at any time of the year, so don’t assume because one scholarship is due on September 1st, they all are. 

All awards should clearly state their deadlines for applications. If there is any confusion about when it is due, make sure to reach out to the scholarship’s organizers as soon as possible. And remember: all aspects of the application should be sent in by this date. In some cases, this could just be your contact information, but some awards may require essays, videos, pictures, your high school transcripts, and more.

It’s also a good idea to double-check application deadlines. Sometimes scholarship databases can be out of date or be showing the previous year’s due date. Head to the scholarship’s website for up-to-date information on the deadlines, guidelines, rules, and more.

No origination fees or prepayment penalties

Fixed rates from 3.85% - 7.91% APR with auto-debit

Learn More

2. The FAFSA Deadline

When you think of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’re most likely thinking of federal loans, but the FAFSA is really for more than that. Schools often use the data in your FAFSA for their own institutional grants, scholarships, and financial aid packages, and failing to complete your FAFSA by the right date can result in you missing out.

Many independent awards also require your financial information if they are need-based.

The FAFSA comes available on October 1st for the following school year, but the official deadline for the application is actually June of the school year in question. So if your first semester of college is Fall 2023, you have until June 2024 to complete it. However, this is too late to be used in scholarship applications. That due date is only for federal student loan and grant programs. 

Instead, scholarship programs, schools, and states will set their own FAFSA due dates for their awards. Every program, school, and state varies so be sure to check the scholarship or grant’s information and FAFSA deadlines before you apply. They may be different from the official deadline for the award.

3. Your SAT or ACT

Did you know that some scholarships require your SAT or ACT scores? If this is the case, you will also need to have your test results in before the stated due date. Like your FAFSA, this could be the same as the entire scholarship application, or it could be different. Take note and be sure to take your SAT and/or ACT well ahead of time to avoid any submission problems.

4. Your Age and Grade

Some scholarships, grants, and awards are only available to students of a certain age, grade, or education level. If you are 17, for example, and the award is dedicated to those 16 and younger, you are no longer eligible. And there are scholarships that are only for high school students and not college students and vice versa.

This criteria is something you’ll want to note as you don’t want to waste your time applying for awards you’re not technically eligible for. It also means it’s a good idea to start your scholarship search as soon as possible! There are even awards available to kids as young as 4. But starting early means you can also note those scholarships that you’re not eligible for just yet, but will be in a year or two!

Keeping note of these four important scholarship deadlines is essential to ensure you’re improving your chances of winning. Scholarship deadlines will vary from award to award and even state to state, so never assume that due dates are the same across the board! Doing so could mean you miss out on some big bucks and opportunities.

Finding scholarships you’re eligible for can seem tough – and getting them in before their various due dates, is even tougher! Especially when you’re in the midst of your senior year of college! But there’s an easier way. College Raptor’s Scholarship Search Tool is completely free and will help you find the awards you qualify for so you can easily apply before the due date. Get started with it right here to begin applying!


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Sallie Mae logo.
5.99% - 16.33% Variable
4.50% - 14.83% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
4.99% - 16.20% Variable
3.65% - 15.91% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
5.80% - 10.80% Variable
4.89% - 10.90% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
5.98% - 15.63% Variable
4.48% - 15.27% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
5.59% - 10.13% Variable
3.85% - 7.91% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
5.32% - 16.20% Variable
4.45% - 14.90% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
4.73% - 12.54% Variable
4.48% - 12.29% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.