What is Rolling Admission and When to Apply?

October 15, 2022
By AdmissionSight

What is Rolling Admission and When to Apply?

What is Rolling Admission for College?

Deadlines for early action and regular decisions come to mind frequently when individuals think about the college admissions process.

What if, however, the deadlines for applying to colleges were a little softer, and applicants were given more time to complete their applications through rolling admission?

These colleges frequently begin accepting applications in September and continue until April. Priority deadlines are established by some institutions with rolling admissions. They would prefer that all data be submitted by a certain day.

Priority deadlines can vary from school to school, but they typically fall between November and February. Priority due dates are exactly what they sound like. Early applicants receive preference in the admissions process and frequently receive a response sooner.

Group of students studying in a library.

What is rolling admission? It allows a school to gradually fill each class. An admissions decision is anticipated within four to six weeks as college applications are assessed as they are received.

To give a clearer picture of what is rolling admission for college, until all seats are filled, these universities will continue to provide rolling admission. Every college seeks to enroll as many students as they can educate.

Which Universities in the US Have Rolling Admissions?

A college that provides rolling admission gives you a long application window to fill out. These colleges don’t stop accepting applications until their freshman class is fully enrolled.

Group of students studying in a library.

Instead of waiting for all applications to flood in at once, they evaluate them on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the fall and winter, and occasionally even into the spring or summer. Although no Ivy League or Ivy-equivalent university offers rolling admissions, there are several highly regarded and selective institutions that do. Check out below which universities in the US have rolling admissions.

Public Universities with Rolling Admissions

Rolling admission is available at about one-third of American selective public colleges. Among the best benefits of this policy are:

City University of New York—Baruch College

Want to earn a highly affordable business degree while studying in a famous program? Although Baruch College officially starts accepting applications the first week of September, the priority deadline is February 3. It is advisable to apply early because the university has a 43% admission rate and is selective. The average high school GPA was 3.3, while the SAT range for enrolled students was 1150–1320.

University of Pittsburgh

It is advantageous to prepare ahead and apply early, according to Pitt. It is undoubtedly smarter to submit early in the cycle because the University of Pittsburgh analyzes applications as they come in throughout the year. This is especially true given how selective the university has grown in recent years.

The SAT range for students enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences is 1250-1410. The ranges are significantly higher for students enrolled in the schools of engineering, business, computer science, and nursing.

Anyone interested in applying to one of these very competitive schools should do so as soon as feasible.

Penn State University

Another public powerhouse in Pennsylvania that makes our list is PSU, which has a modified rolling admissions calendar with an early action option.

Now that Penn State has early action and priority submission deadlines of November 1 and November 30, it is advisable to move quickly if you are serious about becoming a Nittany Lion. You might be curious what is the rolling admission deadline at Penn State. It is still being accepted until May 1st, although many students who wait will only be able to enroll at one of the university’s satellite campuses rather than its renowned University Park location.

For comparison, the middle 50% SAT scores for students accepted to the main college were 1240-1410; for students attending branch campuses, they were 1080-1260. Compared to 3.07–3.60, the GPA range was 3.55–3.90.

Purdue University

Purdue University has deadlines for early action in November and standard decision in January. The admissions committee advises that you “should apply early in your senior year; admission will be substantially more competitive if you apply later” if you want to ensure that you have the best possible opportunity of becoming a Boilermaker.

Although admittance to Purdue’s West Lafayette campus appears to be favorable (60 percent of applicants are accepted), the class of 2023 has an average GPA of 3.7 and SAT scores ranging from 1190 to 1440.

You might also want to consider other top-tier institutions with rolling admissions, such as Rutgers University, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Indiana University-Bloomington, or SUNY institutions like Binghamton University or the University at Buffalo.

Liberal Arts Colleges with Rolling Admissions

There aren’t many prestigious liberal arts colleges with rolling admissions. Large institutions with thousands (or tens of thousands) of freshman candidates typically have these procedures. The few high-quality options in this area include:

Ripon College

Ripon, a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin, starts accepting applicants on September 15. However, they accept applications late into the springtime. With under 800 undergraduate students, this college touts a 98% placement rate (job and graduate school) for graduates within six months of leaving the school. It also offers 76% of its course sections with fewer than 20 students.

Additionally, they are very liberal with financial assistance. Ripon can be a good option for you if you’re looking for a small-class setting to learn in.

Warren Wilson College

This North Carolina liberal arts college offers a remarkably distinctive educational experience that is backed by a student-run farm on campus. Similar to Ripon, Warren Wilson has a large student body that enrolls in programs including environmental studies, biology, and psychology.

This is a one-of-a-kind educational experience thanks to a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a robust “integrated learning experience” curriculum. Additionally, the rolling admissions window remains open up until April 15th, so there’s no need to worry if you miss the November EA or ED deadlines.

Eckerd College

This liberal arts college, which is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, will begin assessing applications on a rolling basis on December 1 and will decide within four weeks.

This beautiful waterfront university, Eckerd College, with a student body of just under 2,000, was once mentioned in Loren Pope’s Colleges that Change Lives. The average class size is barely 19. The fact that they accept 75% of applicants, with an average SAT score between 1090 and 1280, may be the finest part.

STEM Universities with Rolling Admissions

We now examine a few outstanding institutions that support aspiring engineers and scientists and have rolling admissions procedures.

Milwaukee School of Engineering

MSOE is the ideal college for you—as long as you want to study engineering, that is—because it offers well-regarded concentrations in mechanical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and civil engineering. They warmly exhort you to “Apply today!” and guarantee that the entire procedure will take no longer than 10 minutes. They provide an incredibly flexible rolling admissions process.

In the end, 62% of applicants get accepted. Successful candidates have SAT scores between 1160 and 1360 and a GPA of 3.7 on average.

Florida Institute of Technology

FIT is a prestigious institution with one of the most flexible admissions schedules you’ll ever come across. There is no deadline to apply for undergraduate admission at Florida Tech, in their own words. They accept and evaluate applications for various entry terms throughout the year thanks to our rolling admissions strategy.

Even though the College of Engineering enrolls around half of its students, FIT also offers degrees in the arts, business, psychology, and communication.

New Jersey Institute of Technology

In November and December, NJIT offers EA I and EA II choices; however, there is rolling admission until March 1st. This is a flexible choice from a college with a graduation return on investment in the top 2% of all universities nationwide.

With an average SAT score of just around 1300, the nearly 8,800 undergraduate students are a high-achieving group. Many students majoring in engineering, computer science, or other hard sciences attend this Newark campus.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Rolling Admission in College?

Now that you are familiar with what is rolling admission, let’s compare what are the pros and cons of rolling admission in college.

The Benefits of Rolling Admission

The possibility to apply to college at a less stressful point in your high school career and a higher chance of acceptance are just two advantages of giving priority to colleges with rolling admissions procedures. The following are some of the main advantages of rolling admission.

Young woman being interviewed by two people.

You might have a better chance of being admitted.

Applying early during a rolling admissions cycle, when the most open spots are still available, can increase your chances of getting admitted, even if you still need a great application that satisfies the school’s requirements.

You can space out your applications for college.

Prospective students can avoid applying to too many institutions at once by taking advantage of the lengthy application window that comes with rolling admission. Applying to colleges with rolling admission after completing any early action applications to institutions at the top of your list will help you arrange your application process.

You’ll have more time in the winter and spring to complete any applications if you spread out the college application process over several months.

You can experience less tension.

Senior-year rolling admission schools consider applications as they are received, so you will probably hear about your admission status sooner than if you had applied to a school without rolling admission.

Female student studying using a tablet in a table.

If you apply in the fall to colleges that have rolling admission, you can learn if you were accepted much earlier in your senior year, sparing you the unnecessary stress and excitement of the spring.

The Downsides with Rolling Admission

Although there are many benefits to rolling admission, what is rolling admission drawback applicants should be aware of? The following downsides are discussed when applying to universities with this application procedure.

Spots may quickly fill up.

Students that wait until late in the application cycle may face tougher competition for the remaining slots since applications are examined as they are received. It is advised not to wait too long to submit your application because an eligible applicant who waits until the very last minute to do so may have a higher chance of being rejected.

Schools with rolling admissions may establish priority deadlines.

Some universities that provide rolling admission, such as Penn State, maintain priority deadlines and give applicants who submit their applications by a certain date preferential consideration. You won’t get any more time to apply because these priority deadlines are frequently close to those for regular college applications.

Other institutions have first-come, first-served housing and/or financial aid programs. Later in the rolling admissions cycle, accepted applicants might have fewer possibilities.

Should I Apply for Rolling Admission?

Should I apply for rolling admission? Before you apply, there are a few vital points about what is rolling admission

A “rolling” deadline is not the same as having none. 

There is typically a final cut-off date for applicants, even though the application period for rolling admissions is typically much longer than that of a standard admissions process. Make sure you are aware of the annual application window’s closing date.

Early application is essential.

Rolling admissions are not an excuse for putting off important tasks. If anything, submitting your application early has some significant benefits for you as a candidate.

You ought to submit your application as soon as the rolling admissions process starts. Why? What is rolling admission’s advantage when applying early? The primary cause is that programs gradually fill up. Because offers are made on a rolling basis, schools will continue to extend them until all open positions in a program have been filled.

Young woman using a laptop in a table.

This could mean that for popular programs, the open positions are filled sooner than you might anticipate. More slots in the program will still be available the earlier you apply. There are fewer seats available as you wait longer, making it more difficult for you to get one for yourself.

By submitting your application early, you also increase the likelihood that it will be considered on its own merits because the admissions committee will have fewer applicants to judge you against.

Another benefit is that you can start arranging accommodation and submitting financial aid applications the sooner you are approved. At many colleges, housing and financial aid are scarce, so getting your foot in the door before the rush is a huge advantage. Later on, it will help you avoid a lot of time and tension.

Another benefit of applying early is that you will learn quickly whether you have received an offer or not. This assurance will then enable you to consider your options and make arrangements. It might assist you in deciding if you want to commit and start studying right away, or whether you want to keep looking into other colleges. In either case, getting an early offer gives you assurance and clarity.

Rolling admissions do not equate to “easy admissions.”

Some students think that because there is a rolling admissions process, those who apply early will automatically be admitted with lower academic standards. This isn’t always the case. The rolling admissions procedure does not exempt you from the need to submit poorly prepared essays or maintain the required GPA. Rolling admissions procedures continue to turn away poor or ineligible candidates.

Your chances of being accepted into your program of choice will still be harmed by a poor academic history or a careless application. Avoid the pitfall of slacking off by giving your rolling admissions application the same attention and care that you would give to a regular admissions application.

What is rolling admission’s secret to a successful application? When it comes to college applications, preparation is key, as it is with other things. Find out when your rolling admission institutions start taking applications by doing some research. Set a realistic deadline for when you may submit your application. Transcripts, test results, essays, the FAFSA, a résumé, and more are all included in this.

You should allow yourself several chances to succeed when it comes to standardized assessments. To submit scores that you are certain accurately reflect your ability, it is ideal that you have taken the ACT or SAT at least twice and received your results by your self-assigned date!

Similar problems arise with college essays. A hurried essay can negate all the benefits of applying early to a school with rolling admission. Give yourself enough time to plan, draft, and reread your essays before submitting them because a personal statement that was prepared the previous evening will sound just like it was.

It’s a good idea to start drafting those essays as soon as schools and the Common App post their essay prompts. You can then be ready to submit applications as soon as they become available. AdmissionSight can also guide you on how to start your Common App essay.

Previously, we have learned about early admission and regular decision admissions. After discussing the query “What is rolling admission?” this time, you should start your college applications. Feel free to book an initial consultation with AdmissionSight to learn more about our programs and how you could benefit from them.

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