It's Not Too Late to Apply for the 2023 Fall Semester

By Logan Bright Modified on April 07, 2023
Tags : Academics | Campus Life | High School | News

Think you've missed your shot at getting a seat in a college or university program for this fall? All may not be lost!

It's Not Too Late to Apply for the 2023 Fall Semester

With spring rolling in across the country, you might feel like you're out of time to apply for a degree or diploma program this year. The fall 2023 semester really isn't that far away — but in many cases, you've still got a shot at landing a seat for this year.

Here's how you can find a spot soon, and get moving on your education:

Deadlines: college vs university

Generally speaking, colleges offer later deadlines than universities. Plus, admission requirements are often less strict, meaning you may have a better shot at securing last-minute admission. The downside is classes are usually smaller — colleges don't often feature the 1,000+ student lecture halls you see at big universities.

College deadlines

In Ontario, colleges have a deadline of May 1 to confirm your offer of admission. Still, some colleges may extend offers after this date, so you could get a spot as summer approaches. These seats will be more common in less-popular programs, where schools are trying to fill classes before the semester begins.

Be aware though: most colleges have their own deadlines, so things will vary depending on where you want to go. If you're not certain where you want to study, you can shop around a bit to find a program with open seats and later deadlines.

University deadlines

Universities usually have application deadlines in January for Canadian students, and February for international students (who often have to provide more paperwork than their Canadian counterparts). You may still be able to get a spot in a program if you apply after these dates, but be aware that many popular programs may be full — you could end up on a waitlist.

Late applicants

Many schools continue to accept applications even into the spring. In some cases, the actual deadline to accept your spot isn't until June 1 — though most schools would prefer you accept sooner than that!

Still, schools are usually determined to fill as many seats as possible in each program. If you're a good candidate, and you apply late, registrars will usually consider your application if there are still seats to fill.

How do you apply after the deadline? In most cases, you should contact the school directly. Sometimes, the school may re-direct you to a general application site, like ApplyAlberta for example. Other times, the school itself will handle your application. May as well ask the school what they prefer so you can get things moving asap.

Equal consideration: what does it mean?

The date for "equal consideration" has passed for 2023; it's usually in January or early February. Equal consideration means that anyone who applies by that time gets an equal shot at a place in the program. Admissions staff compare all the applications and pick the people best-suited for the seats.

The equal consideration date is especially important for highly competitive programs like engineering or computer science — programs that receive a lot of applications but only have a few available seats. If you're looking at a highly competitive program, you're best served by applying before the equal consideration date.

Landing on the waitlist

You may end up on a waitlist for a seat in a program. This can be disappointing, but you still have a good shot at getting a spot. Waitlists accept students all the way into the start of the semester — so you could end up joining a class mid-way into September! You may not feel comfortable waiting that long, but it's an option in some cases. You never know why a student may drop a program, so you could get lucky and get a spot.

Schools will usually consider you for similar or related programs, as well, if there's a position available. This can be a good way to get your foot in the door at a school, even if you're not immediately pursuing your first passion. You may be able to transfer programs at a later date.

The United Kingdom: Clearing

The UK has a process they call "Clearing." Basically, Clearing is how UK universities fill excess seats. If a school still has a spot in a program come the summer, it gets listed with other Clearing courses on UCAS, the UK's higher-ed application portal.

Clearing normally doesn't start until July, and runs straight through til mid October, so you can wait until the very last minute to apply, if you want to. For 2023, you can't apply to Clearing until June 30, so if you're stuck without an offer of admission, this could be a good way to get into a good school for fall.

Deferring an offer of admission

In some cases, you'll be able to defer your acceptance by a year — that means you're accepted into the program, but choose not to actually attend until next fall. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by school staff, so reach out if you're considering a deferral. If you defer, you can usually also defer any scholarships that you're eligible to receive.

So there you have it: even as spring progresses, and we inch closer to summer, you still have lots of opportunities to apply for college or university this year. If you want to see a classroom come September, consider getting started sooner rather than later! Some of the most competitive programs may be full, but many interesting choices are still open to you.

Good luck on your applications!

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