Mar 30, 2020

Colleges still welcoming applications for fall 2020

Penn State is still accepting applications for fall 2020.

In an upside-down world in which we’re learning to expect the unexpected, a number of high school seniors are second-guessing college lists they made last fall. Some want to be closer to home and some suddenly see value in considering schools with more reasonable tuitions or those with more generous scholarship opportunities.

By the end of March, the college admissions cycle would usually be winding down. But that doesn’t seem to be the case this year, as students with lots of time to reflect are thinking deeply about where they want to be next fall and under what terms.

And for students who want to explore other options, there are literally hundreds of colleges across the country ready, willing and more than happy to consider additional applications for fall 2020. It’s no secret that most enrollment models are out the window, and colleges are looking for ways to remain flexible and attract a solid class of undergrads. And by virtue of some admissions policy changes forced by the Department of Justice, students are now freer to shop than ever before.

In fact, a substantial number of wonderful schools located on stunningly beautiful campuses will consider applications from prospective undergrads well into August. And some of these schools still have scholarships to offer.

And note there are quite a few more that have extended their deadlines without publishing the fact or changing information contained on application platforms or websites. Watch your email for notifications if you happen to be on the right mailing lists or have expressed any interest in these colleges.

But don’t delay. Even those colleges with “rolling” admissions eventually fill their seats. And if you need financial support, be aware that scholarships are often allocated on a first come, first serve basis or until the money runs out.

Still, if you’re looking or thinking about submitting additional applications, here are a few insider tips to jumpstart your research long before NACAC’s “space available” list comes out shortly after May 1:
  1. Common Application member institutions still open to new applicants may be found by going to the Common App website. Click on the College Search tab. Indicate that you’re looking for Fall 2020 and complete the deadline box according to your interest. If you happen to be looking for colleges with deadlines on or after March 30, 2020, you will be rewarded with a list of 563 institutions.
  2. The Universal College Application makes the search even easier. Simply go to go to this link and find colleges and universities still accepting new applications.  And as a public service, the list includes some that are not UCA members!
  3. The Coalition for Colleges has prepared a list of member college deadlines: (if the link doesn’t work, go to the Coalition Help Center, click on MyCoalition Counselor, Applying to College and 2019-2020 Coalition College First Year Application Deadlines). Twenty-three Coalition members have deadlines on or after March 30.
  4. Using the College Board’s Big Future search engine, start by using the Type of School filter and select “4-year,” “private” and “public” (this eliminates for-profit institutions). Scan through the other filters and select your preferences for size, location, majors, etc. Click on “Close and see results.” Once results appear, go to the dropdown box labeled “Sort by:” (upper right) and click on “Application Deadline.” Caution: The list starts with “01-Jan,” goes through the calendar year. At this point, you’d want to start reviewing the colleges with early April deadlines, starting on about page 14. Schools with “no deadline” are listed at the end. It’s a little confusing, and the information is only as good as what colleges tell the College Board.
Once you have a “starter” list of schools that may still be accepting applications, verify deadlines by visiting individual websites.

But if websites are unclear or you find conflicting information as to the current status of the process, contact admissions offices directly and simply ask.

You might be surprised to find many are more than happy to hear from you!