College Application Deadlines: Tips


College application deadlines can catch folks off guard their senior year of high school is all of the deadlines that go along with applying to colleges and scholarships. They all have different due dates that mean different things and it can be hard to keep track and remember which one is which.

Deadlines are one of the most important aspects of the college application process so it would be wise to make a calendar, keep a planner, do whatever you have to do to make sure that you don’t miss any deadlines during this important time in your life.

You can slack on some things in your senior year of high school, but this is not one of them. The process of researching and applying to colleges is so important to your future and I suggest that you place it higher in priority than many other things going on during that year.

Your top priority should be figuring out what you are doing with your future. Staying on top of college application deadlines is the first step that you can take to successfully start your college career.

College Application Deadlines: The Earlier the Better

Let’s make one thing clear, no matter what the deadlines are for the colleges you are applying to, the earlier the better. Most schools are rolling admission which means that they just keep admitting people until they are full.

With rolling admission, you have a higher chance of getting accepted if you apply earlier. The reason is that one can be reviewed and completed before most other people have applied. Sometimes, people at the lower end of the normal admittance spectrum could not get in when they apply later even if someone with their same criteria was approved earlier in the year.

Save yourself some serious hardships by applying early. You would rather take the time out of your day to fill out an application for a few hours now then pay the price later by finding out that you did not get accepted into your top college.

The college application process is stressful enough, at least give yourself the step up by doing all the right things and getting things done early so that you can have the best expected outcome.

Timing doesn’t seem like the biggest deal, but when there are thousands and thousands of applicants, you are just another number and another application to read. Remember to follow the college application deadlines and apply to the top schools as soon as possible.

College Application Deadlines: Take the ACT in Time

The ACT is required for most college admissions. Results also take a few weeks to a couple of months for the colleges to receive your scores. One would want your best score from the ACT to be sent to your top schools in time for the early deadlines as well.

This seems like a minor thing, however, if a college states that they require your ACT score, they won’t even look at your actual application if they don’t have every single piece that they need.

You have to sign up for the ACT several weeks prior to the actual test, so make sure that you are paying attention to all of those deadlines and taking a test that will get your scores to your top schools before the deadlines pass. This also applies to the SAT.

If your school requires the SAT, you want to make sure you are paying attention to those deadlines and how long the SAT takes to send its scores to schools as well. Basically, just don’t wait until the last minute to take these tests because you can miss college application deadlines.

Common Application

The common application is a college application that most colleges are currently using. You can use your first application as a template for the subsequent college you want to apply to next. You may have to answer a few new questions or write an essay depending on the school.

The great thing about the common application is that shows all the deadlines and updated regularly. It shows you the early action, early decision, and regular admission due dates. This is the perfect place to locate all the different due dates at one time.

Most colleges have three separate deadlines depending on what you are looking for and when you want to apply. Here is a basic layout of the different types of actions you can take. You would choose the option on your application.

Early Action

This type of action is nonbinding. This means that you simply want to apply to this university as soon as you possibly can. It has been said that going down the early action route can definitely help you get into a school. Most times you have a better chance of getting in than those doing regular admission. These deadlines are usually at least a couple of months before the deadlines for regular admission.

Early Decision

This decision is binding. Choosing this action means that you are 100% going to commit to this college if you get accepted. These are eh earliest deadlines meaning they are usually due even before the early action. If you are having any doubts about the college, you should definitely do early action instead of early decision.

Early decision is for people who are not interested in attending any other universities and are 100% going to attend this university if they do get accepted.

Regular Admission

This is what action you would take if you miss the early action deadline. This deadline will obviously still get you an acceptance if you deserve it, you just have better odds if you apply earlier.

I hope those definitions cleared up some of the confusion on the different routes that you can take when applying to different colleges because this part can sometimes be very confusing to understand. If you have any other questions you should do some research and look on the common application website.

College Visits

If you are able to, I highly recommend going on college visits before your applications are due because it will help with the passion and intensity of your answers certain applications and for certain scholarships. It will also just give you some insight into what you are actually applying for. Realistically, you won’t be able to visit every single college you apply to, however, the more that you can visit the better off you are.


Almost every single college application you fill out will require transcripts. They usually want transcripts sent from your actual high school faculty with the official stamp. This means that you have to notify your counselor or office as soon as you know which colleges it needs to be sent to.

The last thing that you would want to happen is that you have your entire application done in time for early action, but your school hasn’t sent h transcript yet. They have a lot going on and a lot of transcripts to send to give them a reasonable time to do so.

Here is an article for more reading on college admissions: What You Need to Know About College Entrance Essays


The same thing goes for letters of recommendation. You want to make sure that you give everyone enough time to reasonably write a good letter of recommendation. Teachers and faculty are asked by so many different seniors for letters of recommendation so make sure to give them a LOT of time.

Teachers are notoriously known for forgetting about these so also don’t be afraid to remind them. Getting letters from coaches, principals, and people outside of school can also look really good.

Colleges just want to know that you are determined and reliable. You also want to make sure that you pick people who you know will actually be good at writing. You want this to sound as good and as professional as possible.

English teachers are always a good person to go to if you can’t find anyone for a letter of recommendation because of you now that they are good at writing. Overall just take the time to makes sure that you pick good people and give them enough time to write it and write it well.


Overall there are so many different things to remember when it comes to college applications. As long as you pay close attention to deadlines and stay on top of things you will be fine.

If you aren’t an organized person, now is a good time to start. You are going to need to be in college anyway so you might as well get used to it. This is such an important and impactful time of your life so make sure you try as hard as you can and pay attention to the details. What you do now really will pay off in the end and be worth it.

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