College Application Deadlines for Fall 2022 Admission

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

College Application Deadlines for Fall 2022 Admission

September 1, 2021

Share on Social


Most college applications — including the Common Application and the Coalition for College — opened on August 1, 2021, for students who plan to start school in fall 2022. That said, students could have completed the general application components at any time before this date.

Colleges that maintain proprietary applications, such as Brigham Young University and Georgetown University, can vary in their open dates but generally become available by late August or early September.

While most schools require similar application components, different admission options allow you to submit your application by different deadlines. The four basic options are early action, early decision, regular decision, and rolling admission.

Regardless of when you apply, you'll need to submit a college essay (or several depending on the school), recommendation letters, official high school transcripts, and, if required, standardized test scores.

College Application Deadlines for Fall 2022

The following table summarizes the most common college application deadlines for various application options, such as early action and regular decision.

Application Deadline Admission Decision
Early Action November 2021 December 2021
Early Decision November 2021 December 2021
Regular Decision January/February 2022 March/April 2022
Rolling Admission Varies Usually within 4-6 weeks

Early Action Deadlines

Many schools offer early action deadlines, which allow students to apply early and find out whether they were accepted ahead of the regular admission pool.

While the most common early action deadlines are in early to mid-November, you should check with each of your prospective schools. By applying early action, you can expect to receive an admission decision around December.

Early action is a great option for students who want an early admission decision without having to commit to a school. Unlike early decision, early action doesn't require you to commit to attending that particular school should you get admitted. It also doesn't require a response until the national May 1 deadline, giving students ample time to compare college offers.

Another potential outcome of applying early action is deferment, or when your application is pushed to the regular decision applicant pool. Although nobody wants to be deferred, this response provides students with the opportunity to reach out to the school and strengthen their application for regular decision admittance.


Early Decision Deadlines

Early decision resembles early action in that students apply to a college and hear back early, typically by mid-December. Unlike early action, however, early decision comes with a binding agreement to enroll.

In other words, once you're accepted, you must pay the nonrefundable deposit and withdraw all of your other college applications. This is why students applying early decision should be completely set on attending a particular school.

One major caveat of early decision is that you're entering an agreement without seeing your financial aid offer. For those depending on financial aid to cover the majority of their tuition, this can pose a serious concern.

Some schools may help you explore additional aid options, but adjustments aren't guaranteed. As such, early decision may not be a viable option for every student.


Regular Decision Deadlines

Most students apply to college under regular decision; these deadlines most commonly fall in January or February. Students often hear back from their prospective schools in March or April and are required to follow up with a response by May 1.

As one of the widest application windows, regular decision offers students ample time to gather materials, prepare their essays, and take tests. These deadlines can also give you additional time to carefully consider your college options.

The downside of waiting until the final window means that if you're deferred or even rejected, you'd have to wait until the following semester or academic year to reapply.


Rolling Admission and Transfer Application Deadlines

Rather than maintaining set deadlines, colleges with rolling admission evaluate applications as they come in and usually offer several application windows each year. In general, these schools accept and review applications until all spots in the upcoming class are filled.

While schools' application windows can vary widely, most institutions open up admissions early in the fall around September 1. This window can last all the way through spring, depending on how many spots remain, though some schools may follow the May 1 college deadline.

A rolling admission policy is one that many schools use to evaluate transfer applicants as well. Transfer students should begin the application process well ahead of their prospective school's posted application deadline. Each school maintains its own application window and transfer credit policies, so make sure you carefully read over the requirements before applying.

Although there's a chance your high school transcript may come into consideration, it's more likely that your transfer school's admissions board will evaluate your college transcript. All transfer students should request letters of recommendation, obtain official college transcripts, and submit their applications by March or April for admission that fall.

College Application Deadlines for 50 Popular Schools

The table below presents the 2021-22 application deadlines for 50 popular colleges and universities.

School Early Action Early Decision Regular Decision
Boston College November 1 / January 1 January 1
Boston University November 1 / January 4 January 4
Brandeis University November 1 / January 1 January 1
Brown University November 1 January 5
California Institute of Technology November 1 January 3
Carnegie Mellon University November 1 / January 3 January 3
Case Western Reserve University November 1 November 1 / January 15 January 15
Columbia University November 1 January 1
Cornell University November 1 January 2
Dartmouth College November 1 January 3
Duke University November 1 January 4
Emory University November 1 / January 1 January 1
Georgetown University November 1 January 10
Georgia Institute of Technology October 18 / November 1 January 5
Harvard University November 1 January 1
Johns Hopkins University November 1 / January 3 January 3
Lehigh University November 1 / January 1 January 1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology November 1 January 5
New York University November 1 / January 1 January 5
Northeastern University November 1 November 1 / January 1 January 1
Northwestern University November 1 January 3
Princeton University November 1 January 1
Rice University November 1 January 4
Stanford University November 1 January 5
Tufts University November 1 / January 4 January 4
Tulane University November 15 November 1 January 15
University of California, Berkeley November 30
University of California, Davis November 30
University of California, Irvine November 30
University of California, Los Angeles November 30
University of California, San Diego November 30
University of California, Santa Barbara November 30
University of Chicago November 1 November 1 / January 4 January 4
University of Florida November 1 / rolling
University of Georgia October 15 January 1
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign November 1 / January 5
University of Michigan November 1 February 1
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill October 15 January 15
University of Notre Dame November 1 January 1
University of Pennsylvania November 1 January 5
University of Rochester November 1 / January 5 January 5
University of Southern California December 1 / January 15
University of Texas at Austin November 1 / December 1
University of Virginia November 1 November 1 January 3
University of Wisconsin-Madison November 1 February 1
Vanderbilt University November 1 / January 1 January 1
Wake Forest University November 15 / January 1 November 15 / January 1
Washington University in St. Louis November 1 / January 4 January 4
William & Mary November 1 / January 1 January 1
Yale University November 1 January 2

When to Apply for College in the Fall

Applying to college entails a considerable amount of planning. While you can start some parts at the beginning of your senior year of high school, it's recommended that you request recommendation letters and take the SAT or ACT your junior year. This tip is especially important for those planning to apply for an early admission decision.

Early action and early decision are ideal options for students who are prepared to apply early their senior year. Often resulting in an admission decision by mid-December, these options give students plenty of time to relax and enjoy their final semester of high school. Additionally, students who apply early to college may enjoy higher acceptance rates than regular decision applicants.

To meet an early deadline, you should begin the application process the summer before your senior year, focusing your efforts on writing your essay(s), gathering letters of recommendation, and taking (or retaking) the SAT/ACT.

Though early admission is growing in popularity, most students opt for the regular decision window. For students who need additional time to compare schools, perfect their essays, or retake the SAT/ACT, regular decision may be your best option. Be sure to request letters of recommendation by September of your senior year, as teachers tend to get extremely busy in late fall due to midterms and other recommendation requests.

Remember that no one student is the same. If you don't feel your application is ready to submit by an earlier deadline, hold off until the regular decision deadline. If you're ready to apply early, though, take the leap and enjoy the rest of high school without the looming stress of college applications.

Whichever deadline you decide works best for you, just make sure you feel confident when you submit your application.


Feature Image: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

The Common Application allows students to apply to multiple colleges at once. Learn more about how to use the Common App and which universities accept it. Applying to college can be tricky. Use these nine tips to increase your college admission chances and help you craft a memorable application. Read about the 10 hardest colleges to get into, as well as what these schools look for during the admissions process.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.