Jennifer Angelo is a high school senior and a contributor to The Princeton Review’s IN blog.
As January 1, that infamous deadline, gets the lion’s share of the attention, people are often surprised to learn that many quality schools use later dates.
I know I was. In a search for schools with February application deadlines, I was shocked at the strength of the schools I found—schools like Lewis and Clark, Cooper Union, Dickinson, and Michigan.
This is important to me, as I recently second-guessed my list of colleges. Specifically, I was worried that I might have only one or two choices when my admission decisions arrive in the spring. Before I decided to stick with my current schools, I strongly considered applying to American and Drexel—two institutions with later deadlines—with the idea that they could be extra safeties for me.
However, adding safeties is not the only reason you might send last-minute applications to schools. "After I submitted all my applications," one high school senior recently told me, "I realized some other colleges have better programs for my major." Just this week, she added two schools to her list and will have her applications submitted by the upcoming February deadlines.
You might also add schools to ensure that you have "financial safeties." State schools and public universities are generally less expensive than private schools; adding a financial safety late in the game isn't a bad idea. This way, if financial aid offers from your other choices don’t cut it, you’ll still have somewhere to go.
Even though it’s January, the application season isn’t yet over. There is no harm in doing a little more work to make sure that you have enough options to choose from come springtime.