Why October 31st?

I tell every student to complete all applications to all colleges no later than October 31st of their senior year. Why? That's not what the college websites say, or even what most high school counselors' say.

Well, I have a secret, that I learned the hard way. You have to pick what matters most.

  • Do you want to get into an elite school or academy?
  • Do you want to get into a nice college?
  • Do you want to get top financial aid?

Elite or Academy
If this is your #1 goal, then apply early decision/early admit (binding or not). This triples your odds of getting accepted.

Nice College
If you just want to get into a good school, then apply by their posted deadline and relax.

Top Financial Aid
If money is the deciding factor then you need secondary aid (and maybe even 3rd party aid, yikes!). To get that, you must have completed all apps by 10/31 and submitted individual secondary scholarship apps by their official deadline,
which is usually 12/1-12/31.

Now you see why you must complete all apps by October 31st!