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Articles / Applying to College / When, Exactly, Is the Official Application Deadline?

Nov. 8, 2010

When, Exactly, Is the Official Application Deadline?

When, Exactly, Is the Official Application Deadline?

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HELP!! My grandson is applying to Syracuse University Early Decision. The due date for the app is November 15. We aren't sure, does that mean he has to email in the application before midnight on November 14, or before midnight on November 15? Please let us know as soon as possible! Thank you very much!!

Your grandson's application, if being sent electronically, must be submitted before midnight on the 15th. Colleges will use his local time and not the time in Syracuse, N.Y., if he lives in a different time zone.


Unless otherwise stated, electronic applications are due by midnight of the deadline day (not the midnight before it), and snail-mail applications (rare these days) must be postmarked by the deadline day.

Frankly, most colleges will look the other way if an application is a day … or even sometimes several days … late. But I always urge students to adhere to published deadlines. Even waiting until the last minute to submit electronic applications can be dicey since systems have been known to jam during peak-traffic periods. While admission folks usually hear about such jams and are forgiving, it can be stressful to candidates and their parents (and grandparents!) when it happens.

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Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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