Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines  

January 26, 2024

colleges with late application deadlines

The college application process—particularly the timeline—can be fraught and opaque (not to mention full of confusing acronyms: EA, ED, ED2…In all the chaos, perhaps you’ve fallen a bit behind and missed some deadlines, or your needs or preferences have changed since the beginning of the application process. There’s no need to panic! Luckily, there are many excellent colleges—public and private, large and small—with late application deadlines.

In general, your senior year of high school is often a long, transformative one, and your college aspirations can change—sometimes radically—from October/November to January/February to May/June. Familiarizing yourself with colleges with late application deadlines can expand your options and reduce your stress. Moreover, a few extra months can often make a world of difference in terms of the overall quality of your application.

Likewise, colleges have good reasons for establishing the deadlines they do, and you’ll see below that many excellent institutions have later-than-average deadlines, including Baylor, Gonzaga, University of Arizona, and Oregon State University (plus over a hundred others located all over the country).

Why Pay Attention to Late Application Deadlines?

The word “late” might have negative connotations, but there are many reasons you might be interested in colleges with late deadlines (beyond the fact that your top choice might already have a later-than-average deadline). Here are a few scenarios:

  • You experienced delays while assembling your application materials and missed earlier deadlines
  • You met early or regular decision deadlines, but your application was not as strong as it could have been
  • Perhaps you are concerned that your initial college list was too limited (particularly in terms of safety schools)
  • You were planning to take a gap year, attend a community college, or pursue other post-high school options, but have changed your mind
  • Your academic or career interests have shifted and your earlier selections are no longer a good fit

Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines (Continued)

  • Your geographical or extracurricular preferences have shifted and your earlier selections are no longer a good fit
  • Your financial or family situation has changed, and you want to apply to more affordable or local colleges
  • Maybe you were rejected (or fear you will be rejected) from every college to which you applied for early acceptance or regular decision (dates of college decisions vary)
  • You were waitlisted, and want to pursue other options while you wait
  • You were overwhelmed by the application process and opted to gather more information before investing time, energy, and resources into applications

 When are Most College Deadlines?

The majority of Regular Decision deadlines fall on either January 1 and January 15. This means that most (but not all!) college-bound students complete their applications by mid-January of their senior year, and receive decisions in March or early April.

Close to 500 colleges in the United States also offer Early Action or Early Decision deadlines (or both), which typically fall in October or November. Early Action is non-binding, meaning you are under no obligation to attend. Early Decision is binding, meaning if accepted you are expected to attend. With EA (not binding) or ED (binding), you’ll find out if you’ve been accepted in mid-December (leaving you time—albeit limited time—to meet Regular Decision deadlines as well).

Some schools also offer Early Decision 2 (ED2) deadlines, which allow students to wait until later in the admissions cycle (around the Regular Decision deadlines) to claim their allegiance to a particular college. As with Early Decision, ED2 is binding, but allows more time for assembling application materials or for SAT/ACT testing.

Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines (Continued)

Finally, a number of reputable colleges offer rolling admission, meaning that they evaluate applications on a first-come, first-serve basis until their first-year class is filled. Sometimes this means that these institutions continue accepting applications into the spring or even the summer. If you are interested in colleges with late application deadlines, it is worth your time to peruse the list of institutions with rolling admission as well.

Keep in mind, however, that the later you apply to colleges with rolling deadlines, the lower your chances of acceptance. This is the main difference between rolling admission and late deadlines, as colleges with late deadlines evaluate all applicants simultaneously.

Regardless of which deadline(s) you aim for, the earlier you apply, the earlier you need to be prepared in terms of letters of recommendation, essays, and test scores. Late application deadlines grant you additional time to assemble materials, raise your GPA, or retake the SAT or ACT.

Notable Colleges With Late Application Deadlines

The following list is organized by month, with most deadlines falling on either the 1st or 15th. Predictably, options narrow (but do not disappear!) as you approach late spring/early summer.

Remember to confirm the information for any colleges in which you are interested by checking their websites (colleges do sometimes change their deadlines between application cycles). Also, note that some of these institutions may have earlier deadlines for scholarships and financial aid.

Finally, note that this list is not comprehensive. There may be a great choice for you not included here, particularly if you have geographical limitations or very specific academic/professional interests (art or nursing, for example). Likewise, colleges with rolling admission are not included on this list, but should be considered alongside colleges with late deadlines.

 Colleges with February Deadlines

  • Allegheny College (2/15)
  • Baylor University (2/1)
  • Bradley University (2/1)
  • College of the Atlantic (2/15)
  • Colorado State University (2/1)
  • Creighton University (2/15)
  • DePaul University (2/1)
  • Drew University (2/15)
  • Gettysburg College (2/1)
  • Gonzaga University (2/1)
  • Hillsdale College (2/15)
  • Howard University (2/15)
  • Ithaca College (2/1)
  • Mercer University (2/1)
  • Miami University (2/1)
  • Morehouse College (2/15)
  • North Carolina State University (2/1)
  • Old Dominion University (2/1)

Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines (Continued)

  • Quinnipiac University (2/1)
  • Radford University (2/1)
  • Rhode Island School of Design (2/1)
  • Seattle Pacific University (2/1)
  • Spelman College (2/1)
  • Suffolk University (2/1)
  • Lawrence University (2/1)
  • SUNY University at Stony Brook (2/1)
  • Texas Christian University (2/15)
  • Trinity University (2/1)
  • United States Military Academy (2/28)
  • University of Dayton (2/1)
  • the University of Kentucky (2/15)
  • University of Mary Washington (2/1)
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (2/15)
  • the University of Michigan (2/1)
  • University of New Hampshire (2/1)
  • University of North Carolina—Asheville (2/15)

Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines (Continued)

  • University of Oklahoma (2/1)
  • University of Rhode Island (2/1)
  • the University of Wisconsin—Madison (2/1)
  • Ursinus College (2/15)
  • Wofford College (2/1)
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2/1)

 Colleges with March Deadlines

  • Appalachian State University (3/15)
  • Arcadia University (3/1)
  • Coe College (3/1)
  • Colorado School of Mines (3/1)
  • Flagler College (3/1)
  • Georgia State University (3/1)
  • Hampton University (3/1)
  • Hanover College (3/1)
  • Lewis & Clark College (3/1)
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology (3/1)
  • Randolph-Macon College (3/1)
  • Rhode Island College (3/15)
  • Roanoke College (3/15)
  • Temple University (3/1)
  • University of Cincinnati (3/1)
  • the University of Dallas (3/1)
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro (3/1)

Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines (Continued)

  • University of South Florida (3/1)
  • University of Toronto (3/1)
  • Washington & Jefferson College (3/1)
  • Wells College (3/1)
  • Whitworth University (3/1)
  • Winston-Salem State University (3/15)

Colleges with April Deadlines

  • Berea College (4/30)
  • College of Charleston (4/1)
  • Gustavus Adolphus College (4/1)
  • New College of Florida (4/15)
  • North Park University (4/1)
  • Springfield College (4/1)
  • University of Houston (4/1)

Colleges with May Deadlines

  • Aurora University (5/1)
  • Austin College (5/1)
  • Canisius College (5/1)
  • Carroll College (5/1)
  • Clemson University (5/1)
  • Eastern Washington University (5/15)
  • Marietta College (5/1)
  • Regent University (5/1)
  • Edward’s University (5/1)
  • Texas State University (5/1)
  • University of Alberta (5/1)
  • the University of Arizona (5/1)
  • University of Central Florida (5/1)

Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines (Continued)

  • University of Iowa (5/1)
  • the University of Nebraska—Lincoln (5/1)
  • University of Nevada—Reno (5/31)
  • University of New Mexico (5/1)
  • Virginia State University (5/1)
  • Westminster College (5/1)
  • Winthrop University (5/1)

Colleges with June Deadlines

  • Azusa Pacific University (6/1)
  • Central Connecticut State University (6/1)
  • Hendrix College (6/1)
  • Jacksonville University (6/1)
  • Johnson University (6/1)
  • Oregon State University (6/1)
  • Wesleyan College (6/1)
  • University of Alaska—Anchorage (6/15)
  • the University of Texas—San Antonio (6/1)
  • University of Washington—Tacoma

Colleges with July Deadlines

  • Bowling Green State University (7/15)
  • University of West Florida (7/1)
  • Virginia Union University (7/1)
  • Duquesne University (7/1)
  • High Point University (7/1)
  • Mercer University (7/1)
  • Spring Hill College (7/15)
  • University of Hawaii—Hilo (7/1)
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (7/1)

Colleges with August Deadlines 

  • Alaska Pacific University (8/15)
  • Alfred University (8/1)
  • Bethel College (8/1)
  • Chatham University (8/1)
  • Claflin University (8/1)
  • Colorado State University—Pueblo (8/1)
  • Culver-Stockton College (8/1)

Best Colleges with Late Application Deadlines (Continued)

  • Drury University (8/1)
  • Eastern Kentucky University (8/1)
  • Gordon College (8/1)
  • Kent State University (8/1)
  • Minnesota State University—Moorhead (8/1)
  • North Dakota State University (8/1)
  • Northwest University (8/1)
  • Union University (8/1)
  • University of Arkansas (8/1)
  • University of Idaho (8/1)
  • West Virginia State University (8/10)

Colleges with Late Application Deadlines – Final Thoughts

Overall, the wide range of schools offering late deadlines allows you to approach the college application process with less stress, even if you’ve missed the Regular Decision deadlines or your circumstances have changed over the course of your senior year of high school. Moreover, late application deadlines present the opportunity to craft stronger applications and make informed choices based on your individualized circumstances.

Finally, once you find yourself at a college that’s a good fit, the application deadline won’t matter. While deadlines might be a source of anxiety during the application process, they’ll cease to matter eventually. Hang in there!