Last-Minute College Options Abound for Fall 2011
Nearly 300 schools are still accepting applications
If you've yet to secure a spot on a college roster for fall 2011, you still have hundreds of options.
Though the traditional college decision deadline of May 1 has come and gone, at least 293 colleges and universities are still accepting freshman and transfer applicants, according to a Space Availability Survey list published May 4 by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
Comprised of schools that either didn't fill all open spots for next year's freshmen class or that simply have application deadlines later than the May 1 norm, the list is dominated by private institutions such as Virginia's Roanoke College , Georgia's Agnes Scott College , and Florida's Eckerd College . Some well-known public universities, including Arizona State University and the University of Maryland -- College Park , are still seeking freshmen or transfer applicants this year, too.
"A lot of times, people think if there's any schools left, they can't be good schools," says Todd Johnson, consultant at College Admissions Partners. "It's not going to be the top liberal arts colleges or the top national universities, but there are some good, solid schools on there."
Published annually and available through July 1, the list includes at least 50 more schools this year than last, as of 4 p.m. on May 4. Even more schools may be added in the coming weeks if new spaces become available. On the list, students can check if financial aid and housing options still exist, and whether freshmen or transfer applicants -- or both -- are welcome. (The University of Maryland -- College Park is one of about 15 schools on the list no longer seeking freshmen for the fall.) Though components of financial aid pools may already be depleted, all but one school on the list had at least limited monetary help available for new applicants as of May 4, and nearly all still had some housing options.
Students looking to stay close to home -- or, at least, in the same state -- will likely be in luck, as this year's list includes schools in 44 different states. Illinois, where 19 colleges and universities are still collecting applications, is particularly well represented.
The list may also signal options for students in weather-torn areas.
Over the past few weeks, tornadoes have ravaged parts of the South, including areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Each state still has a handful of colleges accepting applicants.
In Alabama, a storm that devastated much of the state missed the campus of the University of Alabama -- Huntsville , a school on the availability list that accepts freshmen and transfer applications through July 1 each year.
"We are here as a resource for those whose studies may have been interrupted or disrupted," says Ingrid Hayes, the school's assistant provost for enrollment services. "Some students naturally will be a bit apprehensive, or may have housing difficulties, so they may be looking for other places to study."
But even with the hundreds of remaining options this year, students and parents should not despair if none of the schools feel right, counselors advise. Spending a semester or two at local community colleges, which typically have open admissions until the start of classes, is often a good way to get credit for basic courses. For those who don't mind a gamble, public universities with vacancies in certain classes sometimes open registration up to non-matriculated students near the start of the fall term, says Susie Watts, founder of admissions counseling firm College Direction.
"For some kids, it gives them a chance to get their foot in the door [and] take classes, and oftentimes, if they do well, they can either matriculate into that school or have those grades to transfer to a different school," Watts says.
For others, a gap year may be an attractive route. It is counselor Johnson's "favorite option" for some high school seniors with whom he examines the availability list.
"I tell the student, 'Can you go to that school? Yes. Will you be challenged? Yeah, probably, but you're going to be at the top of the applicant pool,'" he says. "Oftentimes, those students are better off taking the year off [and] applying to new schools the following fall."
Available on Amazon.com:
- Last-Minute College Options Abound for Fall 2011
- Not Too Late to Find a Summer Job or Internship
- Financial Aid 101: Fill Out the FAFSA
- Pros and Cons of a Post-graduation Gap Year
- WikiLeaks Copycat to Expose Universities' Dirty Laundry
- 7 Biggest Money Mistakes College Graduates Make
- Where the M.B.A. Jobs Are
- Commencement Speakers to Inspire
- What Potential MCAT Changes Mean for Premed Students
- Educators Rethink Teacher Training
- Top Ways to Save Money At College
- Customize and Digitize Your College Education
- Online Education May Transform Higher Ed
- Solving Our School Problems Not a Matter of Gimmicky Ideas
- 10 College Classes That Impact the Outside World
- Don't Settle When Choosing an Internship
- How to Accept College Rejection
- Colleges Bring Campuses to Facebook
- Get Educated about Student Loan Repayment Options
- 10 Steps to Picking the Right College
- Treat Your Career Like a SmartPhone
- Child-Friendly College Programs for Parents
- Online Law Schools Have Yet to Pass the Bar
- Is It Time to Go Back to School?
- A Harvard Education Is Not As Advertised
- The College That Rejects You May Be Doing You a Favor
- College Rejections Are Not the End of the World
- Is Everything We 'Know' About School Reform Wrong?
- Potential Cuts to Pell Grant Could Affect Students in 2011
- Executive MBA Pay and Demand on the Rise
- How to Evaluate College Financial Aid Options
- Graduate Schools Quantify Your Potential
- AP Science and Math Enrollment Surges
- 4 Tips to Learn a Foreign Language in College
- In My Opinion, I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar
- School Choice Is the Most Critical Civil Rights Issue of Our Time
- 6 Steps to Beating the Shortage of Financial Aid
- Cheaper Student Loans, But Shortage of College Grants Likely in 2011 and 2012
- Your Professor, Your Computer, and You
- Reach Your Goals More Quickly: Use Incremental Change
- Searching for 'Perfect Fit' College Can Be A Big Mistake
- Best and Brightest Teachers Key to Solving U.S. Education Crisis
- 'Tiger Mom' Offers Clues to Race Gaps
- M.B.A. Programs Go Global
- New Website Streamlines College-Aid Application
- Law Students Rank Their Future
- Resolutions That Could Lower Your College Tuition
- Where the Fortune 500 CEOs Went to College
- Get Into Business School: Work Experience
- Get Into Business School: Letters of Recommendation
- Get Into Business School: Admissions Essays
- M.B.A. Hiring Trends Improve in 2010
- Spanish Classes Thriving in U.S. Colleges
- Where to Start if You Want to Be a Rhodes Scholar
- M.B.A. Programs Are Biting Apple's iPad
- Business Schools Add New Entrepreneur Programs for MBA Students
- Unique MBA Programs Build Leadership Skills
- How Changes to the GMAT Will Affect You
- 6 Tips for GMAT Test Success
- How to Get In: Old Dominion University College of Business and Public Administration
- How to Get In: Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Business
- How to Get In: University of Louisville College of Business
- How to Get In: University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business
- How to Get In: George Mason University School of Management
- How to Get In: University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business
- How to Get In: Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
- How to Get In: University of Virginia Darden School of Business
- How to Get In: University of Connecticut School of Business
- How to Get In: Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management
- How to Get In: University of Richmond Robins School of Business
- How to Get In: Wake Forest University Graduate School of Business
- How to Get In: The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
- How to Get In: Brandeis University International Business School
- More M.B.A. Graduates Will Get Jobs in 2010
- Tips to Picking Your Ideal Online MBA
- 6 Tips for GMAT Test Success
- 8 Tips for GRE Test Success
- GRE Fast Becoming GMAT Alternative for B-School Applicants
- Business Schools' Great Ethics Debate
- You Can Work Your Way Through 11 Grad Degrees
Copyright © 2011 U.S. News & World Report. All rights reserved.