Every year this nightmare happens: Teenagers get rejected at every school where they’ve applied. Others students simply mess up and skip all the admission deadlines.
If that happens to you, you shouldn’t necessarily panic. Each year plenty of schools welcome late comers.
Lots of schools continue taking applications after the traditional May 1st application response deadline. In fact, some public universities and community colleges will accept applications into the summer. What’s more, many school, which impose spring deadlines, will ignore them if they haven’t met their freshmen quota.
The place to look for schools that welcome latecomers is the website of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Each year hundreds of colleges and universities notify the trade organization if they are accepting stragglers.
The organization’s Space Availability Survey: Openings for Qualified Students breaks schools down by state. For the 2008-2009 school year, for example, 295 schools notified the association that they still had space for freshmen and/or transfer students. When I looked at Pennsylvania schools on the list, I found 27 colleges and universities, including a couple of Penn State campuses, Susquehanna University, the University of Scranton and the University of Pittsburgh. New York had openings at 31 shools including Pace University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Lawrence University, St. John’s University and several SUNY campuses.
The survey also shares whether a school can still offer institutional financial aid and whether dormitory rooms are available. This year 291 schools still had financial aid available and 280 still had available dorm beds.
Some schools will be wary of latecomers. Consequently, a teenager should be prepared to provide a good explanation of why he or she is in a lurch. The student also has to be the one who places the call to a school. Don’t assume getting into one of these schools will be a shoe-in. Often the earlier birds experience an easier time winning admittance than the ones who procrastinate until summer. But it may be worth a try.
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