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When Is The Best Time To Submit College Applications

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Early Action And Early Decision

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Early action and early decision applications are due well before the New Year- usually in the fall, as most colleges screen regular applications between January through March. Presenting your application before an early decision or early action cutoff time is a smart thought, yet it doesnt mean your application will get reviewed sooner. With a greater number of components required for an application compared to rolling admissions colleges, it can take at least half a month for everything to be received by the admissions board. These can include test scores, transcripts, recommendation letters, and more. There are few advantages of presenting an application long before the cutoff time for early decision and early action:

  • Its generally more efficient to apply a couple of days ahead of time, as most students delay until the tail end of the application due date to submit it this puts the framework of the site at risk of shutting down or even crashing.
  • It will alleviate the students stress level to know that their application has been submitted.
  • They might have a better shot of getting an alumni interview. Alumni interviews are frequently offered when the student applies.

I’m Going Back To College After A Year Or More Off

If you’ve been out of high school for a while, then you’ll probably have to reconnect with your school for teacher and counselor recommendations and official documents, like your transcript. if you haven’t taken the SAT or ACT yet, then you may have to study and take one of those tests as well.

Your deadlines will be in November or December, as mentioned above, and you’ll mostly want to follow similar steps, like asking for recommendations at least a month before your deadlines and leaving yourself a couple of opportunities to prep for and take the SAT or ACT.

If you’ve been out of school for several years, then colleges might not require you to take the SAT or ACT. You’ll want to contact the colleges early to find out whether or not you need to prep for and take one of these exams.

It’d be advisable to leave yourself extra time so that you can meet with your recommenders and help them write you a letter. Since you’re not a current student, you’ll want to have extra time to set up appointments with faculty and gather all the documents you need.

Finally, when do students apply if they want to graduate high school earlier than senior year?

I Want To Take A Gap Year

If this sounds like you, when do you apply for college? Actually, your timeline might still involve applying senior year. Lots of schools allow you to defer your admissions decision for a year. Deferring your admissions decision means you would still apply by an early or regular deadline, or rolling admissions, and then if you got accepted, you’d defer your enrollment for one academic year.

You might be thinking that you want to travel and then figure out where to go to college. This could be a good option too, but remember that your deadlines might still be in January. That means you’ll still need to have your SAT scores finalized, letters of recommendation gathered, and essays written throughout the fallpossibly while you’re traveling the world!

If applying to colleges while youre traveling doesnt sound like the plan for you, remember this: Not all that much time will have passed since high school, so it could be a lot easier to get your application materials collected while you’re still in the swing of school and used to being a student.

If you’ve been out of school already for a year or two, then that’s a different story.

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When Should You Start Working On Your Applications

The answer will depend on a number of factors such as how many other commitments you have, how much help is available to you, and how many schools you want to apply to . Applying to several schools can take time, especially when the applications are hosted on different platforms. So you will need to build a lot of lead time into your schedule.

Most college applications for the 2021-2022 academic year open on August 1st. But you should think of this as the earliest date you can submit, NOT the day to begin working on your applications. There are lots of ways to get a head start before colleges begin accepting applications. On the Common App, for example, you can create an account and begin filling in the general application portion well before August 1st, at any point in the previous year.

In addition, many application platforms reuse old personal essay prompts . The essay prompts that the Common App released this year remained the same as the prompts from 2019-2020. Although you can’t rely on getting precisely the same prompts every year, looking at essay questions from previous years can tell you what colleges are interested in. Plus, the prompts are typically announced around January giving you a full year to brainstorm and plan ahead before many applications are due.

This loose timeline tells you when to start working on different components of the college application.

So Whens The Best Time

The Best Time to Submit Applications

In a nutshell, theres no direct answer for students wondering when they should submit their student loan app. The variety of programs and sources makes the answer conditional, dependent on each students experience. However, a good rule of thumb, generally, is to turn in anything you have due as early as you can. That means reading through the material given to you. Or, conversely, contacting the source directly to find out the earliest date you can apply for a loan. That way, you kill two birds with one stone by turning in your application early, you can put your parents mind at ease, as well as finalizing an option for yourself. The early bird gets the worm, right?

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What Are Reach Match And Safety Schools

BigFuture introduces test scores as one additional factor to weigh as you refine your list. Think about narrowing your colleges into three categories:

  • Reaches: Your SAT or ACT® score is lower than the average score range of last years freshman class.
  • Matches: Your SAT or ACT score is solidly in the same score range as last years freshman class.
  • Safeties: Your SAT or ACT score is higher than the average score range of last years freshman class.

It’s Important To Stay Organized As You Work On Your Applications

Each college needs you to complete common questions and add counselor. Beyond that their applications vary. Each college can determine their unique requirements for:

  • Deadlines

Here are some places where you can find each college’s specific requirements:

Each college’s Explore Colleges profile provides lots of information about the college. You can find details on application information, campus culture, scheduling visits, and more.

In the My Colleges or College Search tab, you can learn more using a school’s college information page. Here you can see requirements for testing, writing, deadlines, and more.

The requirements grid is a comprehensive PDF that lists all the colleges that use the Common App and their requirements. You can also find the grid within the application.

We maintain a list of all Common App colleges and their essay prompts. This resource will help as you begin planning your essays. For more help on planning essays, check out our essay planning worksheet.

Account Rollover

Did you know: Common App accounts can roll over from year to year?

Account Rollover is a great tool to explore the Common App, save answers to questions in the Common App tab of your account, and house ideas for your essay.

Plan essays

Organize and plan for your writing prompts

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When Do You Apply For Rolling Admissions

Your timeline for applying for rolling admissions depends on a few factors and may vary from student to student. Schools with rolling admissions accept applications throughout a period of time, usually ranging from the fall to the spring. For example, the application for ASU opened July 1 this year and will remain open through Spring 2022.

Since most schools with rolling admissions accept applications on a first come, first served basissometimes notifying you of admission only a few weeks after you submitit’s advisable to apply as early as possible. Sticking to an early deadline of November or regular deadline in January, even though you don’t absolutely have to, is a good guideline to follow.

Not only will setting a deadline for yourself help you keep better track of your college planning, but it will help you apply early and thereby impress admissions officers, which gives you a better chance of admission.

Some schools with rolling admission also publicize a priority deadline, meaning students who apply by that deadline have an advantage. University of Maryland’s priority deadline, for instance, is November 1. They’ll still accept applications after, but you’ll have improved chances if you apply by then.

Early Action Deadlines Of Popular Schools

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*Restrictive or single choice early action.

Most schools offer one or the other when it comes to early action and early decision, though there are a small number that offer both, like UChicago. Much of what was true for EA holds true for ED, with one important differenceearly decision is binding.

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Navigating College Application Deadlines

Early action and early decision deadlines provide certain advantages for applicants, most notably higher acceptance rates. Since colleges receive fewer applications in the ED or EA round, even just statistically, your chances increase. If you get into your dream school early decision or early action, you can be done with college applications! That said, your decision should be a calculated one. Students who apply in the early rounds have their act together. Take a careful look at the early action and early decision sections of the college application deadlines and decide whether youll be ready to hit submit when November rolls around, considering that youll be going up against some very strong and organized candidates.

Early decision II policies come in handy in case you need more time. Since you get more time but are still able to demonstrate a high level of commitment by applying ED II, you can always apply in January if November isnt the best time. However, early decision is a big commitment. Youre going to sign an agreement confirming that youll attend the institution if accepted. So you need to make your decision very carefully.

When Should You Write Your Personal Essay

I’m sure none of you have ever stayed up all night writing an essay due the next day…or maybe all of you have! But if there’s one essay you shouldn’t leave for a last minute all-nighter, it’s your personal essay for college.

Even though it’s a short essaya maximum of 650 words for the Common Appit’s a big challenge. Actually, the shortness of it is part of what makes it so tough. How can you home in on a specific experience that reveals something unique and significant about your identity in so few words?

Because it’s such a challenge and so important in your college application, you want to start thinking about your personal essay early. Some students go through several changes of topics before discovering the best one. Even just reading the prompts and mulling them over are important parts of the writing process. Your ideas will benefit from incubation. You might be out running or taking a shower when an exciting essay topic pops into your head!

Apart from the brainstorming stage, drafting and revising takes a long time too. With only 650 words, you want to be careful that you’re choosing the right ones and expressing yourself as clearly, powerfully, and vividly as you can. You might also elicit feedback from friends, parents, and teachers and incorporate their suggestions into your essay. Or notabove all, it’s your voice and your story to tell.

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Should I Use An Online Or A Paper Application

Check with the college to see which is preferred. Most colleges prefer online applications because they are easier to review and processsome even offer a discount in the application fee if you apply online. Applying online can also be more convenient for youits easier to enter information and correct mistakes. Whichever method you choose, be sure to tell your school counselor where you have applied so your school transcript can be sent to the right colleges.

Sometimes Writings Essays Can Feel Like The Biggest Part Of Your Application With A Little Bit Of Planning Organizing And Drafting We Can Help You Make This Task More Manageable

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As you work on your applications you can find essays or short answer questions in three sections:

Colleges can either make the personal essay optional or required. In the writing section of your Common App tab, you will see a table that lists each college’s requirements.

Many colleges include short answer questions or essay prompts within this section. You can find specific information about each college’s individual writing prompts here.

Some colleges use a separate writing supplement. Not all colleges have a writing supplement. Some colleges only request this supplement based on how you answer other questions. You can find more information about writing supplements on the Dashboard or your My Colleges tab.

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Rolling Early Action And Regular Decision

2020 has been a year of unprecedented global transformations, no doubt. This, notwithstanding, ought not to be an interruption to you. As a high school student, you may not understand the disappointment one feels when rejected by a college. Most application rejections occur as a result of applying under the wrong application pool. Nevertheless, this is avoidable if you apply for colleges at the perfect time.

Knowing the best time to apply to a college is quite important to avoid sending in applications past the deadline you stand a better chance of gaining your admission if you apply at the right time. Bearing in mind that some schools have the liberty to set their own schedules, a few colleges set their deadlines in late-winter or early spring. This is why many admission experts recommend students begin their application at least by the start of their senior year in high school.

I recommend that students start making a list of and getting organized with the assistance of their school counselors and school community during that junior year of high school, says Colleen Newman, executive director of admissions at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Your College Planning Timeline For Regular Deadlines

In many ways, your college planning timeline for regular decision will be similar to the timeline for applying for early admission–but with some key differences. You have to consider how busy the fall of senior year is, both for you and for your teachers and counselors.

If your senior year schedule is packed with challenging courses and after school involvements, then you still might want to work on your essay over the summer months, when you have more time and focus for it. You also might still ask for your recommendations in September, or at least October. Some teachers set a cap on how many letters they’ll write, and they probably don’t want to spend their entire winter holiday writing letters. Try to ask early in the fall semester.

When you apply for regular decision, you might have one more opportunity to take the SAT or ACT in December. It’s still advisable to take it at least once in junior year, and many students take it twicein the fall of 11th grade and again in the spring. Again, you want to think about your schedule in the fall and how to best balance putting together a strong college application with all your other assignments, clubs, and/or sports.

Finally, some schools don’t have set deadlines at all and are flexible about when applications arrive. This option is called rolling admissions.

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How To Apply For College

Published on October 18, 2021 by Kirsten Courault. Revised on November 19, 2021.

Most US college application deadlines for undergraduate programs are between late November and mid-March, and you should start thinking about applying for college the summer before junior year. Your application should typically include the following:

  • Personal information, extracurriculars, and awards
  • Essays
  • Standardized test scores
  • Recommendation letters

In this comprehensive guide, we show you how to organize deadlines and stay on track throughout your college application process.

Weve also created a free Google Sheets template that you can use to organize and track your college applications.

  • Frequently asked questions about college application essays
  • When Is The Best Time To Submit College Applications

    Rolling Admission vs. Deadline for Graduate School Applications

    As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. And that also applies to submitting college applications. With all the technology and data available today, colleges can tap into submission timing. They date and time stamp your application. Submitting your application much earlier than set deadlines indicates to them that you have sincere interest in attending their institution. That interest then plays into admissions decisions. As to the best time to submit your college applications, while specific deadline dates hinge on the type of application you are submitting early action, early decision or regular decision we recommend to our students that all applications, regardless of type, be submitted no later than the end of September or early October. Our students actually aim to submit some, if not all, of their college applications at the end of summer before school starts.

    Keep in mind that early action and early decision deadlines are typically around November 1st, with some later and a few earlier. So you need to know the specific application deadlines for each school to which you are applying. But if you are diligent and do your work, you wont have to stress about those deadlines at all because you will have submitted your applications long before they arrive.

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