Hello procrastinators! Are you wondering if submitting your application right before the deadline will hurt your chances? If you submit it two days early, are you more likely to get in? Let’s talk about it!
We all know that doing things early is a good idea. College applications are no exception. One of the more dangerous consequences of procrastinating is dealing with technical issues. Your computer could malfunction, and your wifi network could go down. Because of this it is safest to turn in your application at least one day in advance. If a school or application goes completely down or has an outage, then they will usually extend their deadline. However, if the technical problem is on your end, then you will have a difficult time getting that application in.
Submitting Early Allows You to Review Your App
One other advantage of submitting your application early is the extra time you have to review your application. This way, you can double check to make sure everything has gone through successfully. If you submit early enough, a few weeks in advance, colleges may even reach out to let you know if something is missing.
Rolling/Priority Admissions or EA/ED/REA Deadlines
Turning in an application early can increase your chances at schools with rolling admission, early decision, or priority admission programs. Likewise, doing an EA or REA program might allow you to enjoy a higher admit rate but these candidates are also very strong so it really depends program to program. Stanford and Brown, for example, have stated there isn’t a huge advantage to applying to their schools early.
Rolling admissions is a system where schools let students in on a rolling basis as they apply. You’ll generally hear back two to three weeks later. Very large schools, like Penn State and Arizona State University, tend to use rolling admissions. Rolling admissions may be a great option if you want a good safety school to hear back from so you don’t have to stress about not getting in anywhere later down the line.
Does this Mean I’m Lower on the Priority Pool?
If you do turn in your application right at the deadline, it shouldn’t terribly disadvantage you in terms of review of your file. Admissions officers have so many applications to review, they are too busy to point out the time stamp on your application. Above all, they want to see great essays, grades, your leadership and vision. They are less concerned about when the application was turned in. As long as you submit by the time boundary they give, you should be in good shape.
For logical reasons, however, it is still a good idea to give yourself a 24-hour window!
What if the Components out of my Control are Late?
You may be wondering what happens if your teacher letter of recommendation or your test scores are somehow submitted late. If something isn’t fully under your control, schools will usually work with you if something is submitted late. If you see that a letter hasn’t been submitted by the deadline, you can reach out to your teacher and gently remind them. Additionally, reach out to the college and let them know the situation, and that you followed up with the teacher. Of course, you should try to plan so that you don’t have to worry about something coming in late. Always make sure to give your teachers plenty of time to write their letters of recommendation.
If the worst happens, and you do experience technical difficulties upon submission, you should still reach out to the school to let them know what happened. While it may not lead to anything, most schools are full of human beings who understand that things happen, and they still want the best candidates they can get. If you have a good excuse, try it and see what happens.