Are Rolling Admissions Right for Me?

When it comes to the college application process, you generally have quite a few options for when you can send your application in. There’s the regular decision, early action, and early decision. A fourth option that may be available to you is actually “rolling admissions.” Are you wondering: are rolling admissions right for me? Let’s find out.

Student thinking about appealing his award letter

What are Rolling Admissions?

Rolling admissions are extremely similar to the regular decision process. The major difference is in the application window. 

Regular decision applications are usually accepted and due by a certain date. November 30th is when many colleges open their doors to applications with January 1st or 15th being the most common deadlines. Some schools allow applications up until March 15th.

If a college offers rolling admissions, however, they accept applications early and later than other schools. The time frame in which you can apply can sometimes range from early July through April, though the deadlines will depend on the individual college. Some schools will accept applications year-round.

The “rolling” refers to the fact that the school will “roll” out their decisions to students throughout the entire year.

Three colleges that offer rolling admissions include the University of Central Florida, Arizona State University, and the University of Alabama.

What are the Benefits of Rolling Admissions?

There are a few ways students can benefit from rolling admissions. Here are some reasons you’ll want to consider applying under this process.

Your early action or early decision school didn’t send an acceptance letter.

Rolling admissions could be a way for you to apply to a new school. It’s great for last-minute decisions.

You missed deadlines.

Sadly, it happens. If for some reason you missed regular decision deadlines, rolling admissions can help you get your applications into some schools.

It’s less stressful.

With more time to complete applications, comes less stress. You may also see less competition depending on when you applied.

If you apply early, you’ll hear back quickly.

If you applied early on, you will hear back from the school in a matter of weeks. This allows you to get a decision from a school rather fast. They’re not binding like early decisions either, so this can give you plenty of direction when you’re deciding which school to attend.

What are the Downsides of Rolling Admissions?

There are cons though that make this admissions process a negative for some. 

Even though the school offers rolling admissions, that doesn’t mean they won’t run out of room for accepted students. By delaying, you could reduce your chances of getting an acceptance letter.

In some schools, you’ll be required to make a decision quickly. Although this is not an early decision or early action application, some colleges will ask for a fast response from you on whether or not you’ll attend. This could force you to make some decisions faster than you’d like.

Rolling admissions definitely have benefits, but students should be aware of the downsides of this application process as well. It can definitely be a lifesaver though if life situations or lack of acceptance letters got in the way of attending dream schools. 

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