1. The Common Application can help. Common Application member institutions still accepting applications may be found by going to the website and clicking on College Search under the drop down for Member Colleges and Universities. Indicate that you are interested in "First Year" and "Fall 2013"and fill in the month, day and year deadline box. If you are looking for colleges with a deadline on or after April 15, 2013, you will see a list of 192 institutions.
2. The Universal College Application makes the search easy by going to this link and finding 30 UCA member colleges still open to new applicants.
3. Using the College Board's Big Future search engine is a bit trickier. Start by using the Type of School filter to select "4-year," "private" and "public" (this eliminates for-profit institutions and 2-year colleges). Review the other filters and select your preferences for size, location, and majors. It is best to keep your search broad and use only the most critical parameters at this point. Then click on the "Close and see results" box. Once you have your results, go to the "Sort by" dropdown box in the upper right area of the screen and click on "Application Deadline." Your results will start with January 1st and move through the calendar year. Depending on situation and when you do your search, you will want to move through the months until you get to deadlines that are still in front of you and give you enough time to explore the college and complete and send the application.
Keep in mind that all information is only as good as what the colleges provide to these organizations. So be sure to verify deadlines and other application-related information by going to individual college and university websites. Note that schools with "rolling admissions" consider applications until their freshmen classes are filled. If websites are unclear, contact the undergraduate admissions offices by phone or email to gain clarity. You will be surprised at how delighted they will be to hear from you!
Other Options Exist
If you are not convinced you are ready to begin your 4-year college experience, you may benefit from starting at a 2-year college and then transferring to complete your degree. Or perhaps a Gap Year is right for you. Many colleges look favorably on this decision as long as your year is supervised, structured and productive. Students may take a career-oriented job or internship, participate in a service-based project, and/or take coursework to enhance their skill sets.
Another option is taking a post graduate year to increase your GPA and improve your chances of acceptance at more selective colleges. This option may involve significant resources. For example, the boarding schools that offer this opportunity charge approximately the equivalent of one year at a private college. Students essentially take different courses, but repeat their last year in high school and apply to colleges for the next admission cycle.
Although you may find it hard to accept that you didn't achieve your goals the first time you tried, it is a fact of life that this is often the case. Not giving up, trying again and developing alternate plans are important lessons to learn and will serve you well as time goes on.
Elizabeth LaScala Ph.D. guides college, transfer and graduate school applicants through the complex world of admissions. She develops best match college lists, offers personalized interview and essay coaching, and tools and strategies to help students tackle each step of the admissions process with confidence and success. Elizabeth helps students from all backgrounds to maximize merit and financial aid awards. Visit www.doingcollege.com; Call (925) 891-4491 or email at [email protected]
The author thanks Nancy Griesemer, DC College Admissions Examiner, for her kind permission to reprint parts of her March 18, 2013 articleon the same topic.