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Are college application deadlines really strict?

I’m finishing high school and I have a doubt about college application deadlines. I need to know if they are always fixed, especially if we talk about a financial aid deadline because I want to go to college, but I’ll need financial support. Or maybe I need to look for colleges with rolling admissions.

William Cain

in Events and Holidays

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Daniel King on August 13, 2018

In order to understand the importance of a deadline for a college, we need to see it in the bigger picture. For students, the application deadline to get accepted into the college of their dreams may be the most important date for them. However, for a college that deadline is only one of many important dates that they have scheduled in their academic calendar many months, or even a whole year, in advance. So it is not usual for a deadline to be changed.

The deadlines for college application vary from college to college. And you can find that some colleges have different types of application deadlines. Indeed, there are five different types of college application deadlines ( https://www.collegexpress.com/articles-and-advice/admission/articles/college-applications/5-types-college-application-deadlines/ ). And those five types have to do only with admission applications; they do not include other deadlines specific to transfer students, international students or financial aid applications.

The most common type of application is the Regular Decision. After you apply, you will usually have to wait about two or three months to get a decision on your application. If you do not like to wait, you will prefer these three types of application: Early Decision, Early Action, and Single Choice Early Action. It usually takes only one month before you receive a decision.

A deadline that may be as important as the application deadline for some students is the deadline for financial aid. Some colleges publish a particular deadline to apply for financial aid. Other colleges only indicate their application deadline and, in that case, you will need to contact them directly to ask about the financial support that they offer.

Not every college has a fixed application deadline. You can find a rolling admissions college that offers many advantages. This is the fifth type of college application and it allows students to apply as early as they want instead of having to wait for a deadline ( https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/rolling-admission ). However, you need to be on the lookout for the rolling admission window and apply for aid funds before they are awarded to students who have applied earlier.

Karen Wright9 months ago

It’s funny because you’d think that a college with rolling admissions offers a better chance of getting admitted because you have more time to prepare your application and submit it. And yes, the chance is without a doubt better, but many of us just let time go by and when we realize that it’s been too many months since we started thinking about applying to a college, we have to face that it’s too late and we need to wait again until the admission process starts again. I missed a couple of deadlines like that. I would recommend for you to make good use of your time, prepare a complete application and submit it to the college of your choice as early as you can. If you don’t waste time, you’ll see that you’ll be able to submit both the application for admission and the application for financial aid without hassle.  

Jeffrey Rodriguez9 months ago

It’s true that most college application deadlines are always fixed. I guess that we couldn’t expect something different, because the admission process is just a part of the university calendar that is planned months and months ahead of time and changing a date would entail having to make other changes later. It’s not so hard to meet deadlines, you can do it if you manage your time properly. It can be seen as a discipline test. And, of course, it’s in your interests not to miss a financial aid deadline.  


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