How to Apply to College After a Deadline

by Leyla Norman Google

College applications have rather hard and fast application deadlines. Applications for early college admissions are usually due in November, regular applications are usually due the January before you wish to enroll, and transfer applicants must often submit their application materials before May 1. If your application was due on or near one of these common application due dates and you did not turn your application in on time, there is still a slight chance that you could turn in your application and have it accepted for consideration.

Contact the admissions office of the university whose deadline you missed. Make sure to call as soon as possible after the application deadline. You will stand a better chance of having your materials accepted if applications are currently being considered by the admissions team.

Apologize for missing the deadline, and explain your reason to the admissions office representative. For example, if you only just found out about the university’s program in the major you want to study, they may consider that a legitimate reason for your application being late. If the university still has spaces available for new students, the admissions office may well accept your application. Be aware that universities have wait lists with students who will be considered ahead of you.

Prepare your application materials very carefully, and submit them as soon as you possibly can. Do not neglect proofreading your materials. If there are any mistakes, they will be even more seriously noted because your application was late. If you are submitting your application by mail, sent it overnight and certify it. If you are applying online, make sure you save each piece of the application as you finish it, and that you submit it as soon as you can. For online applicants, mail transcripts overnight. Ensure that the university receives official copies of your SAT or ACT test scores as quickly as possible as well.


  • Make sure your application is absolutely perfect when you submit it.
  • Submit your application as soon after the deadline as you can.

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

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