Application Strategy: Rolling Admissions
Learn How Rolling Admissions Work and How to Use Them in Your Application Strategy
When it comes to preparing college applications, there are many factors to consider. In addition to crafting a personal statement and narrowing down your best-fit list, students need to decide if they will apply early, in the regular rounds, and/or to colleges with rolling admission.
While many students already know how regular options work, the policies surrounding rolling admissions may be a little less familiar. Keep reading to learn more about how to apply to a school with a rolling admission deadline and what factors to consider before hitting submit.
How it Works
Unlike most regular or early application rounds, there is a no hard deadline for when to apply to a school with a rolling admissions policy. For most schools, applications can be sent any time between September and May of a student’s senior year. Instead of waiting until a designated date to learn about application outcomes, students who apply to schools through a rolling process are notified of admissions decisions as soon as the file is complete. Students can receive this information as soon as a few weeks after submitting an application.
What to Consider Before Applying
While rolling admissions may sound like a dream come true for students who tend to procrastinate, it’s best not to leave rolling applications until the last minute. Schools with rolling admissions policies generally continue to accept students until they reach their enrollment capacity. Consequently, students who wait until April or May to apply run the risk of getting rejected simply because the class is already full for a given year.
Rolling Admission Applications Can Help Ease Anxiety
There are several reasons why students may wish to consider applying to at least one college with a rolling admissions policy. First, it can be a great way to potentially boost your confidence and create a sense of peace of mind. Because students learn of their admissions outcome within weeks of applying, it is possible to start receiving college acceptances during the fall of your senior year. Many students will appreciate knowing that they have some college enrollment options early, before even sending out applications for the regular round.
Additionally, applying to schools on a rolling basis can help students space out their application load; instead of having to fill out ten applications all due on January 1, a student may be able to submit a few in the early fall and then work on more in the months that follow.
Keeping All of Your Options Open
If a student chooses to apply to some colleges through a rolling admissions process, they will be able to get a head start on weighing different admissions outcomes and financial aid packages. For many families, finding a school that is a good financial fit is a top priority and students can have to time to break down and discuss financial aid packages thoroughly if they receive acceptances earlier. If you choose to apply to a school with a rolling admissions policy, it can be a great test run at breaking down a financial aid package and clearly differentiating between loan, aid, and grant money. Once a student receives all of their admissions outcomes, they can sit down with their family to compare all of the different financial aid packages on the table.
Applying to a school with a rolling admissions policy can be a great way to get a jumpstart on the application process and potentially ease some admissions-related anxiety. If you are currently working on your own best-fit list and application strategy, our team of expert counselors can help guide you through every step of the process.