A college application deadline is not the same as the deadline for a high school paper or project. For starters, the college application deadline is non-negotiable; if you miss the deadline, you miss your opportunity of acceptance. Additionally, there are many benefits to turning in your application prior to the actual deadline. At International College Counselors, we recommend students submit their applications approximately one month before the admissions deadline.
Here are some reasons students shouldn’t wait to submit their college applications:
- Peak performance. When you’re not rushed, you have time to do your best work.
- Holidays. The most common Regular Decision deadline is January 1, and the University of California application deadline is November 30. However, most admissions offices close for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, and many use up vacation days in December. This means that if you have a question, someone may not be there to answer it.
- Disasters. Hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters have all occurred close to – and during – deadlines. Preparations for these events as well as the after-effects may prevent you from submitting. Some schools may extend the deadlines, but others keep theirs in place.
- Technological trouble. Blackouts happen. The Internet can go down. Websites have technical glitches. The Common App website crashed in 2013 and 2017. Application websites are also known to be very slow when there are large spikes in activity (usually around deadlines).
- College bias. Most colleges document when students submit their applications. The document includes both the day and the time. If a student submits on the last day, the admission committee may think the student is not organized or not as interested as a student who applied early.
- Housing and other perks. At a few colleges, such as University of Florida, after students submit their application, they can apply for campus housing. Students who apply early and then submit their non-refundable housing deposit will have access to more (and better) housing options.
- Double review. International College Counselors clients receive double reviews on their applications if they submit them to their college advisor on or before the advisor’s deadline. If students miss the advisor’s deadline, they may not be eligible for a double review. A double review is the best way to avoid mistakes.
- More stress. This should be self-explanatory. Save yourself, your parents, and your ICC advisor the stress! Getting all of your applications in early ensures you did your best work, and it feels amazing!