What Does ‘Rolling Admissions’ Mean?
Just like there is no one-size-fits-all top-choice college for every student, the application process itself is far from universal. Some students may choose to apply early, while others could benefit from a gap year, regular round applications, or selecting institutions with rolling admissions processes.
While rolling admissions processes can vary by institution, in general, students who seek out this process are not held to one specified deadline and often receive admissions results within just weeks of applying. Keep reading to learn more about rolling admissions and what to consider when weighing this application strategy.
How Rolling Admission Works
Unlike Early Decision, Early Action, or regular round admissions, there is no hard deadline for the rolling admissions process. Instead, students can submit applications any time between September and May of their senior year – but do keep in mind that specific guidelines may vary by institution. Similarly, instead of waiting until a designated date to receive admissions results, applicants learn of their admissions fate within a few weeks of submitting their applications. Rolling admissions is generally on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning applications are reviewed until an institution meets its designated class size for the following year.
Given the lack of concrete deadlines, many applicants may believe that they can wait until the end of senior year to send in an application through the rolling admissions process. However, students who wait until May of their senior year to submit their applications risk the chance that the college has already filled its class for the following year. Although there isn’t a concrete deadline for universities with a rolling admissions policy, applicants should still work strategically and strive to submit their applications in a timely manner.
Another common misconception is that because the deadlines are more lenient, all students will automatically gain admission to a college with a rolling admissions policy. In actuality, some institutions with rolling admissions processes are quite competitive. Students who are applying via rolling admissions need to put the same level of effort into their applications as they would for universities that follow a deadline-bound admissions process.
What Applicants Should Keep in Mind
The lack of deadlines may sound like a dream come true for most students, but there are several things to keep in mind before committing to this process: You need to consider how rolling admissions will fit into your larger admissions strategy. Some students may choose to apply only to universities with rolling admissions policies, while other applicants may participate in several different application processes. If a student chooses to apply to a college with a rolling admissions process and receives an acceptance early on, it can help to create peace of mind throughout the rest of their college admissions process.
Examples of Colleges with Rolling Policies
Plenty of institutions include a rolling admissions process, so it’s important for students to do their research and pinpoint options that truly align with their needs and goals. Some examples of universities with rolling admissions policies are: the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Loyola University Chicago, Michigan State University, and Binghamton University. Each of these colleges has their own, unique guidelines and recommendations for applications, so students need to read the fine print before hitting submit in order to emerge as competitive applicants.
Rolling admissions can help students diversify their options throughout the college application process and maximize their number of potential choices. If you are interested in learning more about different admissions strategies, our team of college admissions experts can provide you with personalized recommendations.