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Articles / Applying to College / Getting In after May 1

Getting In after May 1

Dave Berry
Written by Dave Berry | May 7, 2015
Back in March, I wrote about a Plan B for getting into college. It involved surveying a list published by NACAC (the National Association of College Admission Counseling) that showed which colleges are still looking for students to fill their incoming classes. Back in March, the list for schools looking for Fall 2015 freshmen had not yet been published. Well, the new list is out now and I thought I would give you some background about it, in case you're currently looking for college options in May.

Here's the introduction, as it appears on the NACAC site:

College Openings Update 2015


– Options for Qualified Students

Search by state/country for NACAC-member colleges and universities that are still accepting applications for Fall 2015 freshman and/or transfer admission. Then click on the “Contact Info" link if you would like more information from the college/university about how to apply. Many colleges are added to the list after the initial May 5 deadline, so be sure to check back.

College Openings Update FAQ

Colleges and Universities: Participation in the survey is limited to NACAC-member Principal Representatives. If you would like to add your college to the listing or update your current listing, please click on the link below. You will be prompted to log-in to the site.

My College Confidential colleague, Sally Rubenstone, has posted an informational thread on the CC forum that has drawn some interest. In it, regarding the NACAC list, she notes:

… some colleges have spaces only for transfers and not freshmen … or vice versa. The list also indicates which colleges still have financial aid and housing … and the vast majority do.

There will be additions to the list in the days ahead, so check back often. But if you're interested in any of the places that are already included, don't dawdle!

This Plan-B approach also ties into another previous post of mine: So-Called “No Name" Colleges. In it, I wrote:

So now, let's take this no-name-brand approach to your college search. I received an interesting press release the other day entitled Education Experts' Best Ten Colleges You've Never Heard Of — Why students love these affordable choices for higher education. As I read it, I kept thinking of Walmart vs, Kellogg. There's a real core of truth to this, if you're willing to keep reading.

I'd like to share some of the information from that press release with you here. I do this in an effort to try to expand your thinking about college selection and get you to think beyond name brands. The big schools have large promotional budgets. The colleges that you'll see listed and described below have probably not sent you a shiny viewbook or bombarded your inbox with spammy invitations to apply. But (another big but), you might be able to find within this list a school that can easily meet your educational and budget requirements.

Now you may be getting ahead of me here by anticipating that the NACAC list of colleges with openings still remaining comprises no-name schools, most of which you never heard of. That would be a mistaken assumption. Let's sample the list.

Institution NameState/CountryFreshmenTransferInstitutional ControlEnrollmentFinancial AidHousing
Aberystwyth UniversityUnited KingdomYesNoPublic5,000-9,999YesYesContact Info
Adams State UniversityCOYesYesPublic1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Aims Community CollegeCOYesYesPublic5,000-9,999YesNoContact Info
Alabama A&M UniversityALYesYesPublic5,000-9,999YesYesContact Info
Albright CollegePAYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info

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Emory & Henry CollegeVAYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Ferrum CollegeVAYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Fort Lewis CollegeCOYesYesPublic1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Franklin Pierce UniversityNHYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Frostburg State UniversityMDYesYesPublic5,000-9,999YesYesContact Info

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Lycoming CollegePAYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Macquarie UniversityAustraliaYesYesPublic20,000+YesYesContact Info
Madonna UniversityMIYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Maine College of ArtMEYesYesPrivate1-1,000YesYesContact Info
Maria CollegeNYYesYesPrivate1-1,000YesNoContact Info
Marian UniversityINYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info

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St. John's CollegeMDYesYesPrivate1-1,000YesYesContact Info
St. John's College, Santa FeNMYesYesPrivate1-1,000YesYesContact Info
St. Joseph's College – New YorkNYYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
St. Mary's College of MarylandMDYesYesPublic1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
St. Norbert CollegeWIYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info

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Wheaton CollegeMAYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Whitworth UniversityWAYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
William Jessup UniversityCAYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
William Jewell CollegeMOYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
William Peace UniversityNCYesYesPrivate1,000-4,999YesYesContact Info
Wilson CollegePAYesYesPrivate1-1,000YesYesContact Info

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I encourage those of you still looking for college admission options at this post-May 1 date to study the complete list of schools from which the above samples were selected. You will find some genuine surprises and best-kept secrets among the schools found there.

If I may add a personal note about the so-called hidden-gem/"no-name" institutions, I see the small liberal arts college where I began my higher education career, which ended at Penn State University. Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania was the subject of a very encouraging review recently. I have no active connection with the school and call it out from the NACAC list only to show you the kinds of admission opportunities that still exist today.

Here's an excerpt from that review:

I hope that after reading this post you can tell how much I enjoyed my visit to Lycoming, and how impressed I was by the campus, the people and the future of the institution. Having taught for 19 years at small independent schools, it is not uncommon to work with students who want to find a college that will give them the supportive environment they have experienced in high school and Lycoming is just that kind of college. The close personal relationships between teachers and students is inspiring, and the College's commitment to finding students who will be the best fit for the community is unwavering. Lycoming wants the best students they can get, but it is the kind of place that can bring out the best in solid students who were NOT the best in high school. They will fly prospective students into Williamsport to visit, and the personalized approach to the admissions process may very well turn their heads. Lycoming has excellent programs in art, archaeology (one of few programs that give undergraduates a chance to work in the “Old World" and the “New World") and business to name a few. They have recently won a grant from the Mellon Foundation to facilitate humanities and social science professor/student collaborative research; over the next two years, ten (of eighty total) professors will be supported in building new collaborative projects with their students.

The energy and excitement I saw on campus were contagious. Lycoming may be have just begun their third century but their outlook is that of the upstarts who are in a hurry to make their mark. I strongly encourage any student considering a small liberal arts college to give Lycoming a long look.

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For those of you still searching for a college with open doors, this NACAC list should be the solution you're looking for. Study it carefully, follow up, and enjoy success!

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Be sure to check out all my college-related articles at College Confidential.

Written by

Dave Berry

Dave Berry

Dave is co-founder of College Confidential and College Karma Consulting, co-author of America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools, and has over 30 years of experience helping high schoolers gain admission to Ivy League and other ultra-selective schools. He is an expert in the areas application strategies, stats evaluation, college matching, student profile marketing, essays, personality and temperament assessments and web-based admissions counseling. Dave is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has won national awards for his writing on higher education issues, marketing campaigns and communications programs. He brings this expertise to the discipline of college admissions and his role as a student advocate. His College Quest newspaper page won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association Newspapers in Education Award, the Thomson Newspapers President's Award for Marketing Excellence and the Inland Press Association-University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Mass Communications Inland Innovation Award for the Best New Page. His pioneering journalism program for teenagers, PRO-TEENS, also received national media attention. In addition, Dave won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award for Celebrate Diversity!, a program teaching junior high school students about issues of tolerance. His College Knowledge question-and-answer columns have been published in newspapers throughout the United States. Dave loves Corvettes, classical music, computers, and miniature dachshunds. He and his wife Sharon have a daughter, son and four grandchildren.

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