Rolling admission is an admissions process used by many schools/colleges to admit students to undergraduate programs. According to this process, aspirants are invited to submit their applications to the colleges within a large window rather than specific dates and deadlines. This window generally stretches to a period of 5-6 months and some schools do not have a previously specified end date i.e. application process comes to an end, when all spots are occupied. The university will then review the application and inform the applicant of their decision within a few weeks from submission. Such universities evaluate applications as they arrive, instead of assembling all applications, reviewing them all, and sending out notifications on mass bases, admissions committee consider applications as they arrive. So, this clearly implies that the sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll hear back. In fact, many colleges notify with 4-8 weeks after you apply, and few let you know only two weeks after.
Benefits of Rolling Admissions
Most of schools with rolling admissions open up the application period in the fall, often in first week of September. This period continues through the entire spring, or sometimes later till March-April, if seats are still available. If you miss deadlines of colleges with specific dates or don’t get accepted at the schools you applied to, you may still not give up the hopes and may apply to a school with rolling admissions in the spring of senior year. However, just because such schools don’t pressurize you with deadlines, doesn’t mean you should put off your application. You must still apply as early as you can to meet the regular decision deadline.
Few colleges with rolling admissions process set a “priority deadline,” stating that students who apply by that date will have better chances of getting in. For the more competitive colleges, like Rutgers, who clearly state the same, priority deadline dates should be considered as a fixed/strict deadline for that college. Penn State’s priority deadline is November 30, although it will still accept applications after this date, you must try to submit by then if you’re serious about getting accepted. The more selective or competitive the school, the earlier you should attempt to submit your application.
Well-known colleges with this application policy:
- Indiana University
- Loyola Marymount
- Michigan State
- Pace University
- Penn State
- Roger Williams
- University of Alabama
- University of Maine
- University of Minnesota
- University of New Haven
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Tulsa
Why Do Colleges Offer Rolling Admission?
Just as rolling admission can take off the pressure from applicant, it also somewhat eases the load of admission officers. Instead of viewing and evaluating thousands of applications at one go, they can space out the process and evaluate applications as they arrive. This policy proves to be helpful for schools with a smaller staff of admissions officers to review applications. According to College Admission team of popular colleges, many colleges with rolling admissions use less of a holistic process, rather than trying to assess the candidate as a student and person, some of these colleges may rely more on objective criteria, like school grades and scores on standardized tests.
While other colleges with deadlines may be reviewing and comparing applicants to one another, rolling admission schools aren’t necessarily doing that. They may accept one aspirant weeks or rather months before others have even sent the application. This is not to direct to the conclusion that there aren’t competitive rolling admission schools. As stated above, many of these colleges set a priority deadline or invite students to apply as early in the fall as possible.
Don’t feel relaxed by a no pressure of deadline with rolling admission schools. They may still have a priority deadline with specific dates, and you must check the same with universities. That way you can stay on right track with all your application material ready. Just remember, the sooner you apply earlier you’ll hear back about whether or not you got accepted!