If you thought campaign season advertising, with all the e-mails and phone calls was fun, and if you think the best part of the holiday season was the incessant mailings begging and pleading with you to drop whatever you were doing and shop, then you must be loving deadline season.
By now most you are getting pummeled with e-mail, IM, facebook messages, letters, postcards, automated phone calls, personal phone calls – for all I know you’re also getting singing telegrams for the most aggressive institutions. I’ve been busy with a countdown to our deadline – a message everyday leading up to Mason’s application deadline (which, is January 15th – act now! John Smith of Newton, MA failed to act and misery and sorrow followed him all of his days).
Why all the hype? As usual, a lot of it has to do with marketing. College know that you’re far less likely to enroll if you don’t get your application in by our deadline, even if we admit you – so we encourage, cajole and outright nag to get on your list.
The deadline, however, isn’t jus for show. Generally, colleges and university admission offices read all the applicants in by the deadline as fast as they can. Many institutions will entirely ignore applications received after the deadline, and even if a school will take a late application, the school is likely to be a lot tougher on a late applicant than one received in a timely manner.
Except – when they aren’t. There are a few distinctions to the deadline to consider. Some schools make their deadline a COMPLETE application deadline, meaning everything else, your transcripts and recommendations, for instance, also have to be in by that date. Most others will continue to take new material for your application. You can’t count on that factor, however, since schools will make their decision based on whatever they have at the time.
Other schools will find themselves below their application target. This year there is a lot of noise that the most expensive schools are getting fewer applications (there’s no evidence that it’s true, by the way), and at a minimum the schools with a higher price tag are probably scrambling to get additional applicants just in case you all realize that there are better investments of your time and money (did I mention that Mason was named one of the 50 best values in public education in the U.S., and the only school in the D.C. area on the list?). Anyhow, schools below target will just keep taking applications. Why stop? It’s not like it’s a law or anything.
For most schools that aren’t the very very very most competitive, applications will continue to be quietly accepted regardless of how many they received. To be honest, Mason keeps taking applications for quite a while. Since we’re again seeing a big increase in applications (hey, we WERE named the #1 up and coming school in the U.S. by US News and World Report), I won’t accept many late applicants. If, however, an applicant is a spectacular candidate, there a reasonable chance that I’ll extend an offer of admission, even for a late applicant. The same is true for most universities. They certainly won’t publish that information, and we don’t like to talk about it, but it happens all the time. Watch for a lot of that this year – knowing where the economy is, many schools will except you to get really frustrated by your financial aid and scholarship packages at the expensive schools. Just don’t wait too long – you may not be the only one looking around, and we only have so many spaces.
Again, your best bet by far is to apply well before the deadline. For Mason, that means apply this week. So stop reading and get busy! Be seeing you.
Filed under: Admissions, Applications, College, College Admissions, Deadlines, Education, Family, George Mason University, Life, Parents, University | Tagged: admission, application, College, deadline, University |