It's Not Too Late to Apply to College

About 240 colleges are still accepting applications throughout the summer.

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High school seniors: If you haven't applied to college yet, don't despair. The National Association for College Admission Counseling has published a list of 240 colleges that are still accepting applications for fall admission for freshmen and/or transfer students.

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As of May 4, 226 of these schools have space for freshmen students, and 240 have space for transfer students. Also, 239 still have at least limited financial aid available and 236 have housing available for these students. More schools will add their names to the list throughout the summer, NACAC says. Schools that fill up will also be dropped off the list, as NACAC plans to update the list frequently through August 31, when the counselors' organization plans to take the list down from its site.

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Students also have hundreds of other college options for this fall. NACAC only surveys the association's 1,200 members, which include four-year, not-for-profit colleges and universities. In addition, most of the nation's 1,116 community colleges accept fall applications throughout the summer, as do many for-profit colleges, and many of the almost 1,000 four-year colleges that don't belong to NACAC.

While schools can continue to offer federal financial aid for late-summer applicants, their institutional financial aid and scholarships may be limited. At Xavier University, a private school in Cincinnati, the school's competitive merit-based scholarships were awarded to students who applied by February 1. The school will award need-based financial aid to students who apply in the summer, says Aaron Meis, Xavier's dean of undergraduate admission. He says the school is looking to enroll about 90 more freshmen students and 40 to 50 transfer students for the fall. The school will continue to accept applicants until the end of July.

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The typical application requirements for the later deadlines include the standard application, application fee, high school transcript, ACT or SAT test scores, and, for some schools, references. Be aware that some colleges charge a late fee on top of the traditional application fee. At the University of TexasDallas, students who apply after July 1 have to pay an extra $75 in addition to the regular $50 application fee, says Greg Morris, the school's assistant vice president for undergraduate admission. He says the school will accept applications for admission as freshmen and transfer students until August 1.

As of May 4, private colleges make up 77 percent of the schools on NACAC's late-deadline list, including Hofstra University, Belmont University, and Drexel University. The remaining 23 percent are public universities, which include University of Arkansas, University of MissouriSt. Louis, and University of Arizona.

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Chris Foley, the director of undergraduate admission for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, encourages students to apply as early as possible if for no other reason than to secure housing on campus. The school, which is located in downtown Indianapolis, has limited on-campus housing for freshmen and is still accepting housing applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The school will accept freshmen and transfer applications until May 17. Other schools have much later deadlines, like the University of Michigan—Dearborn, which has rolling admissions up until the first day of classes on September 8, says Christopher Tremblay, the university's executive director of enrollment management.

Xavier's Meis recommends students gather all of their application documents, including high school transcripts, recommendations, and test scores, before high schools close or cut their hours for the summer. However, he says Xavier encourages students to apply, even if it's later in the summer. "If a qualified student walks in our door in the summer, we certainly want to try to give them the opportunity to enroll here and make it affordable for them."