Colleges with rolling admission review applications as they arrive on a rolling basis. Instead of collecting everyone's applications, reviewing them all, and sending out notifications and messages, admissions officers at rolling admission schools consider applications as they arrive.
Does this sound advantageous to you? It is! It means that the sooner you apply, the sooner you'll hear back. Many schools let you know whether or not you got in just four to eight weeks after you apply. A few let you know only two weeks after.
Schools with rolling admissions typically open up the submission period in the fall, often on September 1. This period continues through the spring, or sometimes later if spots are still available. In the worst-case scenario, you miss deadlines or don't get accepted anywhere you want to go, you may still be able to apply to a school with rolling admissions in the spring of the senior year. Education Consultancy back in India makes sure that your applications are safely submitted.
However, just because schools with rolling admissions don't have a set deadline doesn't mean you should put off your application. You should still apply as early as you would get an early or regular decision deadline.
Some colleges with rolling admission also 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, this priority deadline should essentially be considered as a fixed deadline.
I'll go more into detail about what your timeline should look like to apply under rolling admissions below, but first—what are some popular colleges with this application policy?
Popular Colleges with Rolling Admissions
Some well-known schools with rolling admissions are
Some of these schools have priority deadlines. The Penn State deadline, for instance, is December 1. While it will still accept applications after this date, you should put in every effort to submit by then if you're serious about getting accepted. The more selective or competitive the school, the earlier you should strive to submit your application.
Applying under rolling admission doesn't restrict you from applying anywhere else. Regardless of when you get your admissions decision, you still have until the national response date of May 1 to decide where to enrol. This means you can wait for all your notifications, as well as compare financial aid offers, before committing to a college.
While rolling admissions can take some of the pressure off you and give you more flexibility in terms of when you apply, how does it benefit colleges? Why do some colleges opt for rolling admission over a regular decision deadline?
Why Do Colleges Offer Rolling Admission?
Just as rolling admission can take the pressure off of you as an applicant, it also eases the burden on admissions officers. Rather than reviewing thousands of applications at once, they can space out the process and evaluate candidates as they arrive. This policy can be especially helpful for schools with a smaller staff of admissions officers to read applications.
According to Robin Mamlet and Christine VanDeVelde, authors of College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step, some schools with rolling admissions use less of a holistic process when considering candidates. Rather than trying to assess the entire candidate as a student and person, some of these colleges may rely more on objective criteria, like grades and test scores.
While other selective schools may be comparing applicants to one another, rolling admission schools aren't necessarily doing that. They may accept one candidate months before others have even applied. This is not to say that there aren't competitive rolling admission schools. As mentioned above, most of these especially selective colleges set a priority deadline or invite students to apply as early in the fall as possible.