Every year in early May, NACAC publishes a list of colleges that still have openings for the coming fall, and this year is no exception. Currently about 750 schools show up on the list. The College Openings Update is a database that can be searched on various criteria including state, housing availability and financial aid availability. Given that many schools have pushed their acceptance deadlines back, one might assume that more will be added in the coming weeks.

The list is a perfect illustration of the impacts of the coronavirus on college admissions: For the three previous years (2017-2019), the number of schools listing openings was in the low 400s. This year, with numerous schools not yet at their acceptance deadline, we are already seeing an increase of more than 75% in participating schools compared with 2019. Keep in mind, though, that the College Openings Update is a voluntary list with a total respondent base of approximately 1,200 four-year, not-for-profit schools. That means that about half such schools are not members. But it also means that more than half of participating schools still have openings for the fall of 2020. The list includes many state flagship universities and other schools that find themselves in this situation for the first time.

If your student doesn’t like the choices available to them or perhaps didn’t get the financial aid package they need, it’s probably worth taking a look. Unfortunately there isn’t a centralized or standardized way to apply to these schools; instead, you’ll need to reach out to them directly to learn how to submit an application. And if the school you would be interested isn’t on the list, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not accepting applications so it may be worth reaching out whether or not you see them here.

On a different note: My second Facebook Live interview is tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12, at 5:30 Pacific. I’ll be talking with Evergreen High School AP Spanish teacher Jennifer Warren about the ins and outs of AP, IB and other advanced high school classes. To join the conversation, just follow The College Financial Lady on Facebook.