What Does Rolling Admission Mean and How Does It Work?

Rolling admissions work slightly differently than regular admissions, specifically with the timeline in which the college makes its admission decisions. 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:

Three gears laying together.

What rolling admissions mean:

With rolling admissions, the admissions officers begin assessing applications as they come in. However, in this case, they do not wait until the deadline to finalize their list and send out acceptance or rejection letters. With rolling admission, colleges make their decision immediately after assessing the application. The college then sends out the decision letter right away.

What this means for you:

In rolling admission, colleges assess applications fill available places 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 they fill all places. The college stops evaluating applications after that.

Apply early for rolling admissions.

What this means is that 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 want 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 until the last minute. Your odds of getting admitted drop considerably as the deadline approaches. You will be competing with several other late applicants for only the last few remaining places.


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