Skip to main content

Undergraduate Application Timeline

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.


Although this is a general timeline, you will need to be mindful of each individual school’s admissions deadlines. Some request that materials be turned in before the end of the year, some after, and others even have rolling admission deadlines that go until March. However, keep in mind that applying closer to these later deadlines may necessarily mean that your application will be judged not only according to your merits but also to the space available at that point in the process. So, if you think you might be interested in applying to a school down the line, apply early.

Sophomore year

  • Study for and take the PSAT exams.

Junior year

  • Take the SAT and/or ACT exam.
  • Visit colleges.
  • Examine financial aid options.
  • Consider which teachers (or community leaders) will be able to write letters of recommendation for college applications.

Senior year

  • Visit colleges.
  • Retake the SAT and/or ACT exam, if desired.
  • Examine financial aid options.
  • Work on college applications
    • Ask teachers (or community leaders) for letters of recommendation.
    • Write admissions essays.
    • Fill out applications.
  • Submit applications
    • Most colleges recommend applying by November 15th for early admission and scholarship considerations. Check each school for their early application deadlines.
    • Most colleges have hard application due dates of March 1st. Be aware that the later you apply, the more competition there will be. Check with each school for their deadlines.
  • Fill out and submit any financial aid or scholarship applications starting on January 1 st and going through March.
  • Determine which school you wish to attend once you receive any acceptance letters Most colleges need acceptance to be confirmed by May 1 st .