CINCINNATI -- Young adults, do you think your time's run out? All your friends have chosen their colleges. You've had the prom. You're taking your last high school tests.
You fear you've missed the boat on those college applications. You're freaking out. Your parents are coming down hard.
Guess what? You're not alone, and college recruiters say there's still time to make a decision. We've chatted with nine area colleges, and they've given us tips on applying after the typical deadline of May 1.
Get your pens ready to write some essays. It's time to apply to school.
"Our students lead very busy lives, and we created the Fast Track program to help ensure that their busy schedules do not get in the way of achieving their dream of a college education," said Melissa Gorbandt, director of undergraduate admissions. "These sessions bring all of the support NKU has to offer to one place, helping individual students to navigate the enrollment process."
- 3-7 p.m., June 15, Welcome Center
- 3-7 p.m., June 20, Welcome Center
Reservations are encouraged: visit.nku.edu or 859-572-5220.
"Waiting until summer to apply and decide on a college is OK, but come to campus prepared," said Justin Vogel, director of admissions at Thomas More. "Colleges and universities on open enrollment, like Thomas More, can give admissions decisions on-site all summer long.
"For qualified students, you can show up with your transcript and test score and we can usually work through the entire process in a matter of hours. Just make sure to get your transcript before schools get out and keep a copy! Also, ask ahead of time if scholarships are still available. The last thing you want to do is work through the entire process to find out there is no scholarship money left."
"Since we are past the May 1 confirmation deadline, some universities (including University of Cincinnati's main campus) have reached their capacity and are not accepting additional students for this fall," said Alicia Kornowa, director of admissions and recruitment at UC. "Options may be more limited, but there are still many opportunities.
"I recommend that students think about where they ultimately want to attend and figure out the best path to get to that institution. This may mean enrolling at a two-year institution (regional campus or community college) and then transitioning/transferring after a year or two to the campus you want to earn your baccalaureate degree from. If that campus is the University of Cincinnati, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss different paths."
"It's never too late," said Evan Herbert, admission counselor for undergraduate admission at Xavier. "Colleges are still eagerly wanting to work with you to make sure you can find the right fit and join their campus community in the fall. I would also recommend that they actively reach out to their admission counselor so that they can work with you to get any last-minute questions and visits in before the school year starts."
"The best advice I can give anyone is ask questions," said Mary Mazuk, director of academic advising and retention at Mount St. Joe's. "There are many resources available to help students, from the admission folks to the financial aid office to the advising centers. Finding the right fit for a student is important, so while it is late to apply, take the time to explore the campus and programs. Is it the right size school? Do they have majors I want, am interested in and have the aptitude to do?
"Consider the commute or cost of living on campus. Explore the extracurricular interests to see if what you like is offered. Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a small pond? Does the school offer assistance with career development? If a student realizes the institution picked isn't a good fit, transferring schools can affect a student academically and financially; it may end up costing more money because of loss of credits in the transfer."
"Choose the school that you know will help you identify and develop your talent. Reputation and credits are great, but how do they translate into the life you want to live?" said Fernando Figueroa, Gateway Community and Technical College president. "Secondly, find ways to eliminate or reduce college debt. Doing these two things will give you a great start on life."
"Find a place where you can grow," said Daniel Ginn, assistant resident director at Miami University. "Look into both academic and student support programs offered on campus and imagine yourself there. Your college experience has the potential to be the most transformative time in your life yet, so pick a university that will help you develop into a better person than when you arrived."
"A great first step is to talk to your high school's college counselor. We have great relationships with these counselors," said Rob Durkle, associate vice president and dean of admission and financial aid. "Schools might still have openings up until the day classes start, but a student would be hard-pressed to know that. Your college counselor can be an advocate for you. Start the application process, even if schools say they're filled to capacity. There's a possibility -- no guarantee -- that something may open up later on, so you want that application on file.
"A lot of applications require a high school transcript, and it will be harder to get that during the summer months. When it comes to choosing classes, more options might become available in the later summer. For example, a number of students take AP classes in high school and get college credits. They might be assigned a course but later learn they don't need it because of that credit, which would open up a seat in that class."
"It is never too late to apply to college. Many universities and community colleges have later application deadlines and/or rolling admissions," said Tracy Veith, director of undergraduate admissions for Cincinnati Christian University. "Some of my best student ambassadors here at CCU were late decision-makers.
"For those students who are still looking, undecided or too overwhelmed to make a decision, don't let fear cripple you. Take the first step and reach out to admissions counselors; they are there to help you. A student can always transfer. Take general education classes your first semester or year, and if you want to transfer, that is always an option."