Application Deadline Q&A
Updated: Oct 16
Do you know where the term deadline came from? The best we can tell, it comes from an infamous Civil War era Confederate prison in Andersonville, Georgia which contained a physical trench line several feet from the outer stockade walls of which a Union prisoner would be shot if he crossed.
From the diary of captured Union prisoner Robert Ranson from November 22, 1863:
"Before noon we were turned into the pen which is merely enclosed by a ditch and the dirt taken from the ditch thrown up on the outside, making a sort of breastwork. The ditch serves as a dead line, and no prisoners must go near the ditch."
So, ok, the consequences of missing university admission deadlines are not nearly as dire, but still. To keep your admissions chances alive (see what I did there?), let's nail down some details about how admission deadlines work with some Q&A.
Question: How do I find the deadlines for the colleges to which I am applying?
Answer: Mostly the college's website. GEC members can find all of the deadlines they need to know in the MyGEC College Hub under the "Colleges" tab:
For various item deadlines (such as scholarships and honors programs), check out the "Application Outlines" tab:
Question: Do I need to have all of my application materials submitted by the deadline?
Answer: Mostly no, you just need to have your application and application fee submitted by most deadlines. All of the other stuff (transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.,) can come in after the deadlines.
HOWEVER: There is a big caveat to this answer though. For schools that have supplemental applications for university-wide scholarships, you should assume that you need to have all of your application materials submitted by that deadline. Why? In many cases, the admissions office is utilizing an external scholarship committee (often with faculty or department heads) and they need to get your materials to them at some point.
Question: How do I know if my application and supplemental materials have been received?
Answer: Two ways and they both require action from you.
1) You will get an email from the school indicating that they have received the application. You will need to check that email address (I know, simple right?). We recommend creating an email address that you only use for the application process and that you check often and that has notifications set up.
2) Most schools will have online portals you can use to check your application status. You must, you know, use them.
Question: If I have already submitted an application and need to correct something on it, can I resubmit? If not, how do I fix that?
Answer: No, usually you cannot resubmit an application to a school. If you need to correct something on the application, you will need to contact the school directly.
Question: How serious are these deadlines really? I mean, will they take my application if I miss the deadline?
Answer: They are definitely serious (I mean, you won't be shot if you miss them) and meeting them will give you the best chance of admission by doing so.
But yes, many schools will still consider your application if you miss the deadline. But DO NOT be surprised if the college gives you less consideration due to your tardiness.
Not a GEC member? Feeling overwhelmed by admissions deadlines? Let's chat.