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Wilbur Cross Building, UConn.
A view of the Wilbur Cross Building, at UConn.
Peter Morenus

Don’t worry, late bloomers and procrastinators: There are still plenty of great colleges that are still accepting applications.

True, the fall 2017 application deadlines have passed for many highly popular schools -- including the Ivy League, the University of California campuses, and elite liberal arts colleges such as Amherst. But there are hundreds more dream colleges with later deadlines, notes MorraLee Keller, director of technical assistance for the National College Access Network.

In fact, there are more than 500 colleges whose application deadlines for the fall 2017 academic year fall between Jan. 15 and Aug. 15. And more than 200 colleges take applications on a “rolling” or “space available” basis -- which means they take applications until they find enough students to fill their class. (In many cases, they'll still be accepting applications through the summer.)

So high school seniors who can buckle down and file their applications in January “still have a set of good choices,” says Keller.

Money has compiled a list of 50 colleges that rank highly for value and have application deadlines of Jan. 10 or later. See the full list below, organized by due date.

Don't delay too long, though. Keller and other admissions experts say students who delay their applications give themselves three major disadvantages:

  • Lower admission odds: Many schools, such as Michigan State and Indiana University, accept late applications on a “space available” basis. So late applicants are competing for whatever slots may be left after all of the qualified earlier applicants have been accepted. In practice, marginally qualified students are more likely to be rejected if they apply late.
  • Less aid: Federal financial aid is guaranteed as long as you file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the end of your academic year. But many states and colleges give out aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Purdue, for example, is still accepting applications for admissions on a “space available” basis, but limits its merit aid to those who applied by Nov. 1. So some late applicants are likely to pay higher net prices.
  • Fewer major choices: Many rolling admissions and space-available schools say their most popular majors -- such as nursing, engineering and computer science -- tend to fill up early. At Purdue, for example, engineering spots for fall 2016 filled up by February last year, says Pamela T. Horne, the school’s vice provost for enrollment management. Qualified students who apply after that may be offered admission to less popular programs, such as liberal arts, she says.

The risks for late applicants are so serious that Melanie Hall, an AVID teacher and counselor at Texas's Grand Prairie High School, says she is hounding her students every day now, asking “What the heck are you waiting for?” She motivates procrastinators by asking: “What will you be doing this time next year? Is that going to support the life you want to live?”

Name Money Rank Location Deadline Acceptance rate (2014)
Wheaton College 75 Wheaton, IL Jan. 10 69%
Georgetown University 84 Washington Jan. 10 17%
University of North Carolina School of the Arts 60 Winston-Salem, NC Jan. 13 43%
Virginia Tech 18 Blacksburg, VA Jan. 15 73%
Wellesley College 34 Wellesley, MA Jan. 15 30%
University of Connecticut 38 Storrs, CT Jan. 15 50%
University of North Carolina 45 Chapel Hill, NC Jan. 15 28%
University of Delaware 54 Newark, DE Jan. 15 68%
University of Georgia 56 Athens, GA Jan. 15 56%
Colgate University 59 Hamilton, NY Jan. 15 26%
College of the Holy Cross 65 Worcester, MA Jan. 15 43%
Lafayette College 69 Easton, PA Jan. 15 30%
University of Vermont 79 Burlington, VT Jan. 15 73%
Washington University in St Louis 87 Saint Louis Jan. 15 17%
Union College 98 Schenectady, NY Jan. 15 41%
University of Illinois at Chicago 56 Chicago Jan. 16 74%
University of Maryland 19 College Park, MD Jan. 20 48%
Washington State University 37 Pullman, WA Jan. 31 82%
University of Michigan 2 Ann Arbor, MI Feb. 1 32%
Brigham Young University 5 Provo, UT Feb. 1 47%
Virginia Military Institute 42 Lexington, VA Feb. 1 44%
University of Wisconsin 63 Madison, WI Feb. 1 57%
DePauw University 67 Greencastle, IN Feb. 1 57%
Indiana University 77 Bloomington, IN Feb. 1 76%
The College of New Jersey 94 Ewing, NJ Feb. 1 49%
St. Lawrence University 95 Canton, NY Feb. 1 48%
McDaniel College 100 Westminster, MD Feb. 1 76%
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 100 Eau Claire, WI Feb. 1 84%
Stevens Institute of Technology 108 Hoboken, NJ Feb. 1 44%
Earlham College 28 Richmond, IN Feb. 15 65%
Muhlenberg College 87 Allentown, PA Feb. 15 53%
Maine Maritime Academy 62 Castine, ME March 1 79%
Siena College 72 Loudonville, NY March 15 66%
Clemson University 21 Clemson, SC May 1 52%
The University of Texas at Dallas 91 Richardson, TX May 1 62%
Saint Johns University 25 Collegeville, MN Rolling 79%
Massachusetts Maritime Academy 43 Buzzards Bay, MA Rolling 62%
College of Saint Benedict 47 Saint Joseph, MN Rolling 82%
Purdue University 51 West Lafayette, IN Rolling 59%
St. Mary's University 52 San Antonio, TX Rolling 59%
Michigan State University 54 East Lansing, MI Rolling 66%
University of Minnesota 58 Minneapolis Rolling 45%
Gustavus Adolphus College 74 Saint Peter, MN Rolling 61%
Saint Vincent College 78 Latrobe, PA Rolling 72%
Bethel University 82 Saint Paul, MN Rolling 95%
Molloy College 84 Rockville Centre, NY Rolling 75%
Citadel Military College 86 Charleston, SC Rolling 76%
Michigan Technological University 90 Houghton, MI Rolling 76%
Martin Luther College 95 New Ulm, MN Rolling 97%
University of Utah 106 Salt Lake City Rolling 81%