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When applying to colleges as regular decision, do the admissions office wait until all applications are received before choose which students get accepted? How long does FAFSA stay open, and are you able to apply for it the summer before your freshman year of college?

Hoosac Valley High School Senior: Tia Paul Kareh #FALL22

When applying to colleges as regular decision, do the admissions office wait until all applications are received before choose which students get accepted?

How long does FAFSA stay open, and are you able to apply for it the summer before your freshman year of college?

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Danielle’s Answer

Hi Tia!

Yes, typically colleges collect applications for regular decision candidates until their final deadline. All applications go through a general checklist to ensure each candidate meets eligibility requirements. Eligible candidates then have their applications read and scored (usually) by a group of Admissions Officers, University Employees, educational consultants and more. This process usually lasts several months because each application is likely to be reviewed by multiple individuals. Applicants who submitted their information to specialty schools (i.e. nursing, medicine, business, engineering, etc.) will undergo an additional process according to the special requirements and goals of those departments. The date in which colleges inform applicants of their acceptance status varies, however it generally falls between March & May, with a hard deadline to accept conditional admission in spring or early summer. Each year, the FAFSA application opens in October and closes 11:59 p.m. CT on June 30th. Some colleges, scholarships and state grants require students to submit their applications earlier, however, so check with your potential schools. Here is a link of deadlines by state: https://studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/fafsa-deadlines#state

I would recommend applying for the FAFSA as soon as possible, but always before the June 30th deadline due to systems crashing and the potential to miss out on more funding depending on your state or college. Make sure to talk to a financial aid advisor at your school to get the most applicable deadlines.
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Chirayu’s Answer

Most or all colleges now have either rolling admissions or early admission deadlines where students can apply by a certain date and get an answer before other students. Students will receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification deadline. Applying for early deadline does not guarantee an early answer as colleges will sometime put you on the waitlist or give you admission once students have applied by the regular deadline. But to answer your question, colleges do not have to wait until all students submit their applications. FAFSA is available for submission starting October 1 of the year prior to the school year you're seeking financial aid for. So for the 2023-24 school year, the FAFSA opened on Oct. 1, 2022. Processing times are sometimes longer so applying is key for FAFSA and released some of the added stress as school begins.
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Ciara’s Answer

Hi Tia, to answer your second question in regards to FASFA you have to complete your FASFA ahead of attending your first year in college, preferably before the June due date. As well, you have to complete your FASFA every year while you attend a higher educational institution so try to remember your passcode and your guardians information more easily.
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