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Colleges set up their admissions processes in different ways. Early action, early decision, standard admission, and rolling admission give students varying levels of flexibility during the admissions process. Colleges with rolling admissions often respond to applications more quickly and may offer a better opportunity for acceptance than standard deadline-driven admissions.

What Are Rolling Admissions?

Universities with rolling admissions do not use deadlines to govern the application process. Instead, they accept admissions on an ongoing basis and respond to applications as they receive and process them. Students who apply to a rolling admissions program early may receive a decision faster and enjoy a greater likelihood of acceptance than those who wait until late in the game.

Rolling college admissions all offer deadline flexibility, but schools may set up their rolling admissions programs in different ways. Some may post preferred deadlines and begin notifying students regarding admittance only after a certain date. Always look at a school’s guidelines on rolling admissions for specific admissions information.

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Advantages of Rolling Admissions

A school with rolling admissions creates flexibility for both the school and applicants. Instead of processing a high volume of applications in a short period, the school works through submissions as they arrive and respond accordingly. Most schools will continue to accept rolling applications until they fill the number of spaces available to students.

Some people believe that rolling admissions schools will take any applicant. Every school is different. For most, the admissions criteria remains the same regardless of application processing, with one caveat – the rolling admissions process does tend to become more competitive as time passes.

Students who choose to participate in rolling admissions programs may experience:

  • Less stress. Since colleges respond to applications as they receive them, you may hear back from a school more quickly.
  • Greater flexibility. Some early action and early decision application programs bind students to a school. Rolling admissions do not. A student can still choose to attend another school after receiving an acceptance or use a rolling admissions program to apply to a school last minute.
  • More time. Rolling admissions give people more time to craft letters of recommendation and admission essays. Students can use rolling admissions to find the best fit and put their best feet forward during the application process.

What Colleges Have Rolling Admissions?

Consider adding at least one school with rolling admissions to your list of prospective colleges. If nothing else, the school may offer a fallback plan if an early action, early decision, or standard deadline strategy falls through. Some schools that currently offer rolling admissions include:

Some rolling admissions schools may not make your top list of colleges but still offer some of the best educational experiences in the nation. When considering the price, the quality of education, and the location, you may find a rolling admissions school offers the best value overall.

Applying to Schools with Rolling Admissions

Choosing a school doesn’t typically come down to the admissions process, but understanding admissions programs will help you create a strategy for applying to your top schools and creating a fallback plan.

As you begin your search for post-secondary schools, make a chart of schools and all their important deadlines. Include financial aid and scholarship deadlines, too. Use the chart to organize your application process and ensure you apply within the listed time-frames. Even if a rolling admissions school isn’t your top pick, craft an application worthy of your top school. Give yourself every opportunity to gain admission into a school you feel proud to attend.

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