- Most applications opened on August 1 for students applying for fall 2022 enrollment.
- College deadlines most often fall between November and February.
- Early admission means preparing your application sooner in your senior year.
- Regular decision gives you more time to work on college essays and take exams.
by Tyler Epps
Most college applications — including the Common Application and the Coalition for College — opened on August 1, 2021, for students who plan to start school in fall 2022. That said, students could have completed the general application components at any time before this date.
Colleges that maintain proprietary applications, such as Brigham Young University and Georgetown University, can vary in their open dates but generally become available by late August or early September.
While most schools require similar application components, different admission options allow you to submit your application by different deadlines. The four basic options are early action, early decision, regular decision, and rolling admission.
Regardless of when you apply, you’ll need to submit a college essay (or several depending on the school), recommendation letters, official high school transcripts, and, if required, standardized test scores.
College Application Deadlines for Fall 2022
The following table summarizes the most common college application deadlines for various application options, such as early action and regular decision.
|APPLICATION DEADLINE||ADMISSION DECISION|
|Early Action||November 2021||December 2021|
|Early Decision||November 2021||December 2021|
|Regular Decision||January/February 2022||March/April 2022|
|Rolling Admission||Varies||Usually within 4-6 weeks|
Early Action Deadlines
Many schools offer early action deadlines, which allow students to apply early and find out whether they were accepted ahead of the regular admission pool.
While the most common early action deadlines are in early to mid-November, you should check with each of your prospective schools. By applying early action, you can expect to receive an admission decision around December.
Early action is a great option for students who want an early admission decision without having to commit to a school. Unlike early decision, early action doesn’t require you to commit to attending that particular school should you get admitted. It also doesn’t require a response until the national May 1 deadline, giving students ample time to compare college offers.
Another potential outcome of applying early action is deferment, or when your application is pushed to the regular decision applicant pool. Although nobody wants to be deferred, this response provides students with the opportunity to reach out to the school and strengthen their application for regular decision admittance.
Early Decision Deadlines
Early decision resembles early action in that students apply to a college and hear back early, typically by mid-December. Unlike early action, however, early decision comes with a binding agreement to enroll.
In other words, once you’re accepted, you must pay the nonrefundable deposit and withdraw all of your other college applications. This is why students applying early decision should be completely set on attending a particular school.
One major caveat of early decision is that you’re entering an agreement without seeing your financial aid offer. For those depending on financial aid to cover the majority of their tuition, this can pose a serious concern.
Some schools may help you explore additional aid options, but adjustments aren’t guaranteed. As such, early decision may not be a viable option for every student.
Regular Decision Deadlines
Most students apply to college under regular decision; these deadlines most commonly fall in January or February. Students often hear back from their prospective schools in March or April and are required to follow up with a response by May 1.
As one of the widest application windows, regular decision offers students ample time to gather materials, prepare their essays, and take tests. These deadlines can also give you additional time to carefully consider your college options.
The downside of waiting until the final window means that if you’re deferred or even rejected, you’d have to wait until the following semester or academic year to reapply.
Rolling Admission and Transfer Application Deadlines
Rather than maintaining set deadlines, colleges with rolling admission evaluate applications as they come in and usually offer several application windows each year. In general, these schools accept and review applications until all spots in the upcoming class are filled.
While schools’ application windows can vary widely, most institutions open up admissions early in the fall around September 1. This window can last all the way through spring, depending on how many spots remain, though some schools may follow the May 1 college deadline.
A rolling admission policy is one that many schools use to evaluate transfer applicants as well. Transfer students should begin the application process well ahead of their prospective school’s posted application deadline. Each school maintains its own application window and transfer credit policies, so make sure you carefully read over the requirements before applying.
Although there’s a chance your high school transcript may come into consideration, it’s more likely that your transfer school’s admissions board will evaluate your college transcript. All transfer students should request letters of recommendation, obtain official college transcripts, and submit their applications by March or April for admission that fall.
College Application Deadlines for 50 Popular Schools
The table below presents the 2021-22 application deadlines for 50 popular colleges and universities.
|SCHOOL||EARLY ACTION||EARLY DECISION||REGULAR DECISION|
|Boston College||—||November 1 / January 1||January 1|
|Boston University||—||November 1 / January 4||January 4|
|Brandeis University||—||November 1 / January 1||January 1|
|Brown University||—||November 1||January 5|
|California Institute of Technology||November 1||—||January 3|
|Carnegie Mellon University||—||November 1 / January 3||January 3|
|Case Western Reserve University||November 1||November 1 / January 15||January 15|
|Columbia University||—||November 1||January 1|
|Cornell University||—||November 1||January 2|
|Dartmouth College||—||November 1||January 3|
|Duke University||—||November 1||January 4|
|Emory University||—||November 1 / January 1||January 1|
|Georgetown University||November 1||—||January 10|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||October 18 / November 1||—||January 5|
|Harvard University||November 1||—||January 1|
|Johns Hopkins University||—||November 1 / January 3||January 3|
|Lehigh University||—||November 1 / January 1||January 1|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||November 1||—||January 5|
|New York University||—||November 1 / January 1||January 5|
|Northeastern University||November 1||November 1 / January 1||January 1|
|Northwestern University||—||November 1||January 3|
|Princeton University||November 1||—||January 1|
|Rice University||—||November 1||January 4|
|Stanford University||November 1||—||January 5|
|Tufts University||—||November 1 / January 4||January 4|
|Tulane University||November 15||November 1||January 15|
|University of California, Berkeley||—||—||November 30|
|University of California, Davis||—||—||November 30|
|University of California, Irvine||—||—||November 30|
|University of California, Los Angeles||—||—||November 30|
|University of California, San Diego||—||—||November 30|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||—||—||November 30|
|University of Chicago||November 1||November 1 / January 4||January 4|
|University of Florida||—||—||November 1 / rolling|
|University of Georgia||October 15||—||January 1|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||—||—||November 1 / January 5|
|University of Michigan||November 1||—||February 1|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||October 15||—||January 15|
|University of Notre Dame||November 1||—||January 1|
|University of Pennsylvania||—||November 1||January 5|
|University of Rochester||—||November 1 / January 5||January 5|
|University of Southern California||—||—||December 1 / January 15|
|University of Texas at Austin||—||—||November 1 / December 1|
|University of Virginia||November 1||November 1||January 3|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||November 1||—||February 1|
|Vanderbilt University||—||November 1 / January 1||January 1|
|Wake Forest University||—||November 15 / January 1||November 15 / January 1|
|Washington University in St. Louis||—||November 1 / January 4||January 4|
|William & Mary||—||November 1 / January 1||January 1|
|Yale University||November 1||—||January 2|
When to Apply for College in the Fall
Applying to college entails a considerable amount of planning. While you can start some parts at the beginning of your senior year of high school, it’s recommended that you request recommendation letters and take the SAT or ACT your junior year. This tip is especially important for those planning to apply for an early admission decision.
Early action and early decision are ideal options for students who are prepared to apply early their senior year. Often resulting in an admission decision by mid-December, these options give students plenty of time to relax and enjoy their final semester of high school. Additionally, students who apply early to college may enjoy higher acceptance rates than regular decision applicants.
To meet an early deadline, you should begin the application process the summer before your senior year, focusing your efforts on writing your essay(s), gathering letters of recommendation, and taking (or retaking) the SAT/ACT.
Though early admission is growing in popularity, most students opt for the regular decision window. For students who need additional time to compare schools, perfect their essays, or retake the SAT/ACT, regular decision may be your best option. Be sure to request letters of recommendation by September of your senior year, as teachers tend to get extremely busy in late fall due to midterms and other recommendation requests.
Remember that no one student is the same. If you don’t feel your application is ready to submit by an earlier deadline, hold off until the regular decision deadline. If you’re ready to apply early, though, take the leap and enjoy the rest of high school without the looming stress of college applications.
Whichever deadline you decide works best for you, just make sure you feel confident when you submit your application.
Published by Best Colleges at : College Application Deadlines for Fall 2022 Admission | BestColleges