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A student wearing a mask uses a computer in a library.

A student wearing a mask uses a computer in a library.

Deadlines: How to Avoid Hitting Submit at 11:59pm

Don’t be that student! Don’t be the student who submits their application at 11:59 pm the night before it’s due. Why? Highlighted in this article, are two reasons why you should not wait until the last minute to submit your application. Also provided is a helpful deadline reminder guide.



It’s 11:59 pm on Friday, January 7, 2022. You are finally ready to hit the “Submit” button on your Common Application. As you click it, you jump up, close your computer, and feel a sense of relief as you realize you have finished applying...


...But wait! What about the supplement essay and your official High School transcript? Did your teacher send their letter of recommendation? The deadline was January 7, but was that only the Common Application deadline? 


The good news is that you are reading this before that ever happens. Yes, you must submit the Common Application, official high school transcript, letters of recommendation, and all required materials by the deadline. Many students wait until the last day, or even the last hour, to submit their application, but the reality is there are more steps to completing it than simply hitting the “submit” button. As an admission counselor, we see this happen quite often, but your application is not considered complete until we have all required documents, meaning we cannot evaluate your application until everything is submitted. 


Yes, we do offer a grace period in order for you to submit your supplemental documents that must be submitted by a school counselor or teacher because we understand those are somewhat out of your control. However, you shouldn’t count on using the grace period to complete your application. In this situation, your application is sitting in the incomplete bin, which means it won’t be evaluated until we have all documents. We recommend creating your own internal deadline (maybe a week ahead of the official one) to ensure you have time to correct any mistakes or reach back out to recommenders if you realize something is missing.


Second scenario: You wait until 11:59 pm on January 7, 2022, to submit your Common Application. You have sent all additional documents and are confident about your application. Then, the system breaks. This happens more often than you think. That’s because, like you, many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, which sometimes causes the application portal to break. While most schools are understanding in this situation, it will only make you more stressed wondering if your application submitted successfully.


Save yourself from all these stressful situations and get organized early. One smart solution is to create an Excel or Word document with every college you are interested in applying to and add all deadlines to it. An alternative is to print each school’s deadlines and post them on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror. These organizational skills will help you keep track of when items are due. And you’re in luck! Below, we’ve included a downloadable spreadsheet where you can enter all your college application information and a printable reminder card with the Santa Clara application deadlines for this year. Check out these resources to start getting yourself organized in the college application process!

Santa Clara University Deadlines 

First-Year Key Deadlines:

Financial Aid Deadlines:


admissions,application process,application tips
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