Timeline for Applications to U.S. Universities

Hi everyone! My name is Nand Javia. I am an international student from India studying at Texas Christian University in the U.S. I'm double majoring in Business Information Systems and Finance. I worked in the admissions office of my university and very familiar with the application process for universities in the U.S. In this blog, I will talk about the application timeline for the upcoming academic year.

As we approach 01 August, thousands of students worldwide will be looking at applying to universities in the U.S. Several students get intimidated by all the preconceived notions of the application process being tough, challenging, and complicated. But don't fret; I'll explain the entire application process timeline and share all my advice and tips!

All universities in the U.S. start their applications one year in advance. So the applications for Fall 2022 start in August 2021. This will be your 12th grade in high school. You do not need to wait until you finish 12th to apply to universities. You will have your college decisions before you take your final exams. Most universities in the U.S. have two rounds of applications. One is Early, and the other is regular. Although there is Early Decision and Early Action, for this blog, I'll refer to both as 'Early application' because even though they are different types of applications, their timeline is usually pretty similar.


  1. Start looking at universities and talking to university reps at those universities.
  2. Attend WebiFair events to learn more about university campus life and get your questions answered.
  3. Make a list of 15 institutions that you would like to send an application to - 5 top schools, 5 middle-tier schools, and 5 backup schools. You can always add or subtract the schools later.

August: Continue your search and simultaneously start your applications. In most cases, you can apply to only one university for early application. Still, some universities might have different policies, allowing you to apply to other universities for early application. Look at the percentage of international students that got into that university through the early application process to decide which institution is the best for this type of application. You can find this on Google, the university's website, or by emailing the admissions office about it.

September and October: Get your essays checked and edited by your teachers or friends. Essays are a tool that admission officers use to understand your personality, so it's essential to spend enough time behind this part of the application. Be truthful and honest in the essays. During these months, you will also need to ask your teachers to write you multiple letters of recommendation. Check the English proficiency requirements of the institutions you are applying to and make sure you have taken the appropriate exams.

November: 01 November is usually the deadline for early applications. Make sure you have submitted all parts of the application before 01 November. If your university has financial aid for international students, then make sure you submit the required documents. You can still keep editing your essays for the institutions that you are applying for a regular decision.

December: Most universities release the decisions for early applications before 25 December.

January: Most universities have their deadlines for regular decisions in January. Make sure you have submitted all the required documents.

March and April: You will start hearing back from the universities during these months. If you're confused or have questions about a couple of universities, you should reach out to students at those universities and ask them to have a zoom session with you. I firmly believe that current students are the best resource for learning about the university's campus life.

May: 01 May is the last day to pay the deposit and commit to a university.

June and July: You will receive the required visa documents, such as the I-20 from the university, and you will have to apply for an F-1 student visa.

I hope this timeline helps you to understand the process at a glance. You'll have several questions during the process, which the admission counselors at WebiFair events can help answer. 

Learn more about those events here

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