Early College Application Deadlines
Every university and college has its own application deadlines, but they fall around the same time. Early applicants (early action, early decision or single choice early action) generally need to get their applications in by either November 1 or November 15.
Some colleges have also added a second deadline for early decision applicants, which is usually January 1. That’s not very early, but early decision applications are binding, meaning you’re committed to attending your early decision school if you’re accepted. Because colleges like accepting students whom they know will attend, an extended early decision process works for both the school and the applicants.
Students who apply to a US university single choice early action are not permitted to apply to any other schools during the early-action period only. Once you receive an early action decision, you may apply to other colleges.
Regular College Application Deadlines
The deadline for regular decision applications is normally between January 1 and February 1, depending on the college. Get the bulk of your essays done and confirm who will write your recommendations in November, so you won’t have a lot of last-minute work to do during the holiday season.
The regular college application deadlines are late enough so that your first semester grades will be looked at. No slacking off – this is a very important semester!
Transfer and Rolling Admission College Application Deadlines
Transfer applicants generally have a deadline of around May 1 to submit applications for the following fall semester. Schools with rolling admissions policies – looking at applications as they come in, until all spaces in the class have been filled – also have deadlines as late as May 1.
Some may continue to accept applications even later, depending on how many open slots remain. However, virtually all rolling admissions schools recommend that you get your application in by March 1 or earlier to have the best chance at being accepted.