How Rolling Admissions Works

What does rolling admission mean? Rolling admissions work slightly differently than regular college admissions

Flickr user Christopher Penn

Rolling admissions work slightly differently than regular admissions, specifically with the timeline in which decisions are made. With regular college applications, the admissions authorities begin assessing applications as they come in but they finalize the list and send out their acceptance or rejection letter only after assessing all applications that come in within the stated deadline. We explain rolling admissions more below:

What does rolling admission mean?

With rolling admissions, the admissions officers begin assessing applications as they come in, but in this case they do not wait till the deadline to finalize their list and send out acceptance or rejection letters. In rolling admission colleges, the decisions are made immediately after each application is assessed and the decision letter is sent out right away.

What this means for you:

In rolling admission colleges, applications are assessed and places are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Admissions authorities work on evaluating applications and sending out decision letters throughout the application season, right up till the deadline or when all places are filled. Once the places are filled no more applications are evaluated.

Apply early for rolling admissions.

What this means is students who apply early have the best chance of being accepted. If you are considering applying to a college that uses rolling admissions, you should ideally submit your application as early as possible. This is unless your junior grades or your test scores were lower than you expected and you would like to re-take the SAT or ACT, or you would like to get some work experience that would help bolster your chances.

Submitting a stronger application is far more important than sending off a weak application early. However, you should still not wait till the last minute as your odds of getting admitted drop considerably as the deadline approaches as you will be competing with several other late applicants for only the last few remaining places.

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