Most colleges’ Early Action and Early Decision application deadlines are November 1, which means many high school students (and college consultants) are breathing a big sigh of relief now that this date has passed.
Before you relax too much, though, be sure to check the financial aid application deadlines at colleges where you applied EA or ED. At some schools, applying for admission early also means you have to submit financial aid forms by an earlier date. Other schools have the same financial aid deadline for early and regular application deadlines. To give you an idea of the variety of deadlines that exist, here are the EA/ED and financial aid deadlines for a handful of colleges:
- Boston University: ED Nov. 1, financial aid deadline Nov. 1
- University of Pennsylvania: ED Nov. 1, financial aid deadline Nov. 5
- Stanford University: EA Nov. 1, financial aid deadline Nov. 15
- Washington University in St. Louis: ED Nov. 1, financial aid deadline Nov. 15
- University of Wisconsin, Madison: EA Nov. 1, financial aid deadline Dec. 1
- University of Vermont: EA Nov. 1, financial aid deadline Feb. 1
- Santa Clara University: EA Nov. 1, financial aid deadline Feb. 5
- University of Oregon: EA Nov. 1, financial aid deadline March 1
You can find information about financial aid deadlines and required forms on a college’s financial aid website. If you’ve missed a deadline, don’t fret; often, colleges have “priority” deadlines and you can still apply for financial aid after they have passed. However, you should do so ASAP, as some schools award aid on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition to deadlines for applying for need-based aid, some colleges have earlier deadlines for applying for merit-based aid. For example, if you want to be considered for merit scholarships at the University of Southern California, Boston University, or Wake Forest University, you must apply for admission by December 1. As you are researching colleges’ merit scholarship deadlines, it’s important to find out what you have to do to be considered for merit aid, i.e., do you simply have to submit your application for admission by an earlier deadline, or is there an additional essay or a separate application?
Applying to college means keeping track of many deadlines. If you cannot find the information you need on a college’s website or have questions, you should contact the school.