Last-Chance Colleges

Last Updated May 7, 2009 10:03 PM EDT

What happens when high school seniors don't get into any colleges?

It happens every year. Some star-crossed teenagers receive rejection letters from all the schools on their list. Then there are the ultimate procrastinators who never manage to turn in their applications.

No matter what the excuse is, hope exists for students who have nowhere to go in September.

Some colleges and universities have spots available for the fall. To find schools at the last minute check out the National Association for College Admission Counseling's Space Availability Survey. Every May, the non-profit organization sends out a survey to its roughly 1,200 institutional members asking if they still have room for qualified applicants.

This year 258 four-year colleges and universities are reporting vacancies for freshmen. In addition, 247 schools have room for transfer students. Seventy-nine percent of the schools that haven't yanked their welcome mats are private.

Among the schools with vacancies are Smith College (MA), University of Rochester (NY), University of Pittsburgh (PA), Drexel University (PA), University of San Diego (CA), Lafayette College (PA), Wheaton College (MA), Old Dominion University (VA), University of Tampa (FL) and Colorado State University.

Nearly all the schools on the list can still offer qualified latecomers institutional financial aid and most still have room in their dorms.

So what are you waiting for?

Procrastinate Image by Major Clanger, CC 2.0