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Articles / Applying to College / Will I Lose My College Spot After May 1?

March 30, 2010

Will I Lose My College Spot After May 1?

Question: Will I lose my spot at a college if I don't respond and send in my enrollment by May 1st? I'm still waiting to hear back from other schools, but I want to make sure I won't lose my spot at one of my top choices.

Yes, it is very possible that you will lose your spot if you don't respond by the May 1st deadline.


If, by May 1, you are not ready to make a commitment (e.g., you are on a waitlist at another college or are appealing a financial aid package), you must still confirm your place somewhere by the deadline or risk forfeiting it.

Some colleges will give extensions beyond the May 1 deadline, but these are fairly rare, and--if you do make such a request and it is granted--make sure you get this confirmation in writing (e-mail counts).

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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