When Should You Apply To College?

When should you be sending in your college applications?

If you are applying Early Action…

1. and the college’s deadline is Nov 1, send your application no later than October 22;

2. or, the college’s deadline is Nov 15: send your application no later than Nov 5.

If you are applying Regular Decision to a college, email the admissions office and ask,

“If I apply regular decision instead of early action, how soon can I send in my application?”

If the answer you receive suggests “any time,” then you need to send in your application as soon as possible with a note that you are submitting your application for REGULAR DECISION. Send a follow-up email asking if the college received the request for regular decision. Do not stop sending an email request for an answer until you receive an answer by email.

Why this approach? When you send anything to a college that is 7-10 days ahead of their deadline, you are giving a very positive impression that you are organized and focused, unlike most applicants who send everything at the last minute.

This seemingly small detail of submitting stuff before any deadline is a subtle plus in favor of accepting the student. It’s strategy!

Note: You need to have an understanding with your student’s guidance department on these deadlines – YOUR deadlines. And DON’T accept the high school guidance office’s response that they’ll take care of it.

Give them envelopes for each college with postage affixed, and offer to mail the envelopes yourself. If they suggest that they mail them, be sure the envelopes are mailed Return Receipt Requested. It’ll cost you extra, but the cost is worth every dime. It places the high school on notice that they had better meet your deadlines.  Be direct and firm in your request for your guidance office to be cooperative with your wishes. After all, this is your student’s only shot at applying to college.
For admissions help and/or financial aid assistance, call 1-888-876-1863.


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One Response to “When Should You Apply To College?”

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