By Kim Clark
May 4, 2017

In one of the best-kept secrets of college admissions, hundreds of schools — including dozens of well-regarded private colleges and public flagships — re-open their application process in early May, giving students a second chance at getting into a dream school.

The full list of schools still accepting applications is posted early each May by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Many of the colleges are still accepting applications because they didn’t quite fill their freshman class by the traditional deadline; May 1 is the day high school seniors are supposed to commit to a college by sending in their deposits.

Schools like Colorado State University, Lawrence University and Sewanee didn’t fill their classes by May 1, and so are eager to recruit additional applicants interested in attending this fall.

But many colleges, such as the University of Missouri, the University of Arizona and Texas Tech, have unusually late deadlines, and generally accept applications until at least June 1.

That doesn’t mean seniors can keep procrastinating, however. Lawrence, for example, says it is only looking for about five additional students. Those extra slots could fill up quickly.

And admissions officers at schools still accepting applicants say they won’t be relaxing their admissions standards. “The applications we receive after May 1 are typically of a little lesser caliber, so there is a greater number of denials,” says Dean Kilgore, assistant vice president for enrollment at Mount Saint Mary’s University in California.

If you’re interested in trying your luck at one of the schools with openings, college admissions counselors say you should contact the college to ask these three questions:

  1. How do I apply? Taking advantage of the second round of applications can be comparatively easy if you’ve already filled out other college applications, such as the Common Application. You simply add the new school to your list on the Common App and click send. But some schools, such as Lawrence University, require extra essays and questions.
  2. How much aid is left? Some schools, such as Mount Saint Mary’s, say that late applicants get the same grants and scholarships as those who apply early. Others schools, such as Texas Tech, note that most of their best scholarships have early deadlines, so late applicants could get less aid, and thus pay higher prices.
  3. Where will I live? Some colleges, such as Suffolk University, say they have room for students in classrooms but not in dorms. So make sure to ask about housing options.

Here are 50 colleges still accepting applications for this fall ranked highly by MONEY for value — a combination of educational quality, affordability and alumni success in the job market. (If a school you are interested in isn’t on this list, ask about other “side door” admissions options such as guaranteed transfer programs from community colleges.)

College MONEY rank
Michigan Technological University 90
Lawrence University 114
Elmhurst College 120
Manhattan College 125
Messiah College 147
Northwest University 157
Loyola University Maryland 160
Mount Saint Mary’s University 163
Mills College 175
New Jersey Institute of Technology 178
CUNY Baruch College 188
University of Arizona 190
University of Idaho 198
Saint Anselm College 203
Saint Mary’s College 203
Westminster College 206
Texas Tech University 209
Beloit College 213
Nebraska Wesleyan University 218
North Dakota State University 224
Valparaiso University 228
Oregon State University 232
Hamline University 238
Hanover College 240
Colorado State University 250
University of Mary Washington 252
Wells College 258
Houghton College 260
UMBC – University of Maryland, Baltimore County 267
Illinois College 272
John Carroll University 280
Lake Forest College 282
Drake University 284
Illinois State University 284
The Evergreen State College 284
Minnesota State University, Mankato 287
State University of New York at Fredonia 287
Le Moyne College 291
Ripon College 294
Butler University 311
Sewanee-The University of the South 312
Pacific Lutheran University 313
Susquehanna University 313
Saint Peter’s University 322
Carroll College 328
University of Kansas 334
College of Mount Saint Vincent 336
Southern Connecticut State University 336
Truman State University 336
University of Maine at Farmington 342

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