If you apply to a school that has a non-rolling admission system, odds are you will wait a very long time before hearing a response. These schools wait until the application deadline passes before examining and judging each applicant. It is not until this point that they notify anyone of their decisions. However, other schools employ a rolling admission process. This system has its benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few of each you need to consider before applying.
Rolling Admissions Advantages
- You can plan on hearing news sometime between four to eight weeks after you send in your application. This gives you a solid deadline window to look for a response and allows you to plan admission applications.
- If you do happen to miss the application deadline, you could find yourself selected to a school after every remaining deadline has passed.
- Rolling admissions gives you a route that involves less competition on your part, meaning reduced stress. Going to college is a huge transition; eliminating stress where you can benefits you in several ways.
- A rolling admission process gives you more fluidity in your options and the responses you receive. If you are accepted, you’re accepted; that doesn’t mean you have to stop applying. Sit on your commitment to the school and see who else responds.
Rolling Admissions Disadvantages
- This process isn’t without its issues. These begin with the timing of your application. If you’re going to apply to schools using rolling admission, you need to do so early in your application schedule or you won’t hear back from them any earlier than other schools. On top of that, the later you apply, the fewer slots will be open to fill. These positions already exist in smaller numbers, with students selected as the applications come in to the school.
- Even though there is more flexibility in deadlines, some do still exist, and they tend to be solid ones that have very little wiggle room. The primary difference between the two types of admissions lies in how the application selection process works and when this happens, not in whether one has deadlines.
- The rolling admission process does still face competition for positions. This relates to the timing of your application. Sooner means fewer applications; later means many, many more, thus more competition.
- Every school has differences, even when accepting rolling admissions. Some give you the option to wait on your acceptance response, allowing you to see who else sends you a similar approval. Others require early responses to early applications. This allows them to slot you in or move someone else into that position. There is no obligation to commit by any means; however, this doesn’t mean you will always have the time to wait for other responses before making a choice.
These admission responses are different, but the variations lie in the details. Some review and respond to applications as they arrive, others wait until a deadline has passed to do so. An application to a rolling admission school could still land you a slot there under an identical non-rolling admission process at the same school.
Consider all your options before applying and accepting an admission response. Talk to your school counselors and other trusted advisors for help making this important life decision.