National Decision Day has come and gone; if you missed the deadline or weren’t admitted in time, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Thankfully, you still have plenty of options for starting your college career this fall.
1) Check the “Annual College Openings Update”
At over 300 colleges right now, there is still space, financial aid, and housing available. No matter what your scenario, if you still want to attend college this fall, you’re in luck.
Right around this time the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) publishes its annual College Openings Update. School counselors and families can use the list to help students who—for whatever reason—didn’t complete the college application and admissions process by May 1st.
The list has over 300 public and private colleges with either rolling admissions, late deadlines, or spaces left. It’s a great place to start and gives you an opportunity to find the best-fit school for you. It’s important to note that the College Openings Update will only remain accessible online via NACAC’s website through July 1.
2) Rolling Admissions Schools
Schools with rolling admissions are great options to consider at this stage of the game. Rolling admissions means these schools continue to accept and review applications and send admission letters until they've filled all available spots.
In some cases, this type of policy is applied after the regular admission deadline if there are still spots available.
(Sidenote: If this applies to a school you’re interested in, call them! Find out if they're still taking applications, you wouldn’t want to send an application no one will look at.)
Other schools use a rolling-admission policy year-round. The great thing about this is that if you're applying late, you still have a shot at finding a school after the deadline. You might have to disappear for a day or two filling out apps, but it can definitely pay off.
3) Community College
Consider starting at a two-year community college. Even if community college wasn’t what you first had in mind, (it could include things like living at home, attending classes with people from your high school, etc.) it does have strong advantages.
For starters, you’ll save a ton of money by starting at a two year school. Furthermore, some states, such as New Jersey, even offer qualified students free tuition for two years at a community college — if you’re a “qualified student,” that means an incredibly affordable education.
Another advantage is that most two-year colleges have agreements with state schools that will allow you to transfer as a junior when you're finished.
Read: 6 Infamous Myths about Community College
It gets even better, because if starting at a community college sounds like a good idea for you, you’re in luck. The American Honors program is designed specifically for students who want to start at community college and transfer to complete their bachelor degrees from top 4-year universities. If you’re interested, learn more about how American Honors helps students earn the same degrees for less.