Weekly College Column

Space Available? Hope for the rejected.

Wait-lists Opening Up – Almost 300 colleges still have open seats for fall 2023

If your high school senior found themselves in the unfortunate position of being denied everywhere they applied or if they’ve now had a change of heart about their plans for next year, The National Association for College Admission Counseling has released its annual list of colleges with opening for fall, 2023. The current list has almost 300 institutions, slightly less than in past years.

Nearly 300 U.S. and foreign colleges have told the National Association for College Admission Counseling that they have open seats for fall 2023. The figure comes from the admission organization’s annual Colleges Openings Update, which also documents the availability of housing and financial aid for first-year and transfer students. It includes colleges that maintain rolling admissions throughout the year. And often, colleges inform NACAC about open spots after it publishes the database, so it may still change for 2023.

There is room at the U

The list evolves over time, shrinking as colleges and universities fill their freshman class, and expanding as colleges continue to tally which students have accepted their offer of admission.  Also, a word of caution, not all colleges opt to participate, so if you have a dream school and it is not on the list, contact them directly to see if there are openings.

Some students review the list looking for a better financial deal. With private school cost of attendance hovering between $50 – $85,000 per year, frequently there is too big a gap between what they are comfortable paying for college and the award offers, if any, from the schools where they were accepted. The NACAC list is diverse; ranging from public to private, large, mid-sized and small, urban, suburban and rural, research institutions, religious colleges, etc.

NACAC’s annual College Openings Update: Options for Qualified Students is a voluntary listing of NACAC member postsecondary institutions that are still accepting applications from prospective first-year and/or transfer students for the upcoming fall term. Now in its 36th year, the College Openings Update is designed as a tool for counselors, parents, and others assisting students who have not yet completed the college admission process. The list of colleges is updated daily, so please check back periodically to see if additional colleges are still accepting applications.

To download or print this list, please click the three-dot button in the upper right, and a menu with options will appear. Please note that this list is updated daily, and this web page is the best source for the most updated information.

Things may not have worked out the way you planned, but there are definitely options available for the resourceful family.  The “space availability” list is really a “win-win” for students and colleges. Many colleges operate with a “rolling admissions” process which means that they are constantly accepting applications on a year-round basis until their class is filled.

If you can’t find a good academic, social, and financial fit, you may want to consider taking a year off and reapplying to colleges in the fall. If you are looking for some creative ways to spend the time off, you should investigate some possibilities at www.americangap.org.

Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte. Send questions to: lee@bierercollegeconsulting.comwww.bierercollegeconsulting.com 


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