What is Rolling Admission?

You’ve probably heard of the rolling admission application process. But what can you expect when you apply to a school with rolling admissions? We’ll talk through this topic so you can fully understand rolling admissions.

What Exactly is Rolling Admissions?

Typically, in the standard college application route, you must turn in all your materials by a set date. For regular college admissions, the deadline is typically around December or January. Early decision and early action applications are usually due in early November. On the other hand, rolling admission offers students the opportunity to enroll and receive an admissions decision at any time during the admissions cycle. Because applications are reviewed as they come in, not all at once, students have a longer period to turn in their applications.

With rolling admissions, students can start applying in the early fall on September 1st and continue through Spring. Overall, this process is more flexible and offers different benefits than early action, early decision, and regular decision. 

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When Will You Receive News About Rolling Admissions?

Since schools with rolling admissions don’t have a set deadline, it not only provides a longer window of time to apply, but the review process is much faster. With regular admissions, colleges wait to review applications until the deadline date passes. Because these institutions review applications as soon as they are received, college admissions committees can respond more quickly. So, you’ll receive your response a lot sooner, often within four to eight weeks. If you turn in your application in the early fall of your senior year of high, you can even see the results of your application within two weeks.

What Are The Advantages of Rolling Admission?

1. Greater Flexibility 

If you’re looking for a flexible way to apply to schools, rolling admissions is your best option. You can receive news about your application early but then wait until each school’s spring deadline to inform the school of your final decision. This gives you time to apply to other colleges and ensures that you know that you’ll be attending a college after graduation.

2. Reduced Stress 

The college admissions landscape is changing. Students with excellent grades, test scores, and well-framed extracurriculars are now rejected from selective colleges. Applying to a couple of rolling admissions schools and receiving a decision early can make senior year a breeze.

3. Increased Chances of Admission

Since rolling admissions takes place earlier in the year, the applicant pool is less competitive. Fewer people are applying, so you have an advantage. Best of all, there will be plenty of spots since other students haven’t been accepted yet. You still need good SAT/ACT scores and a solid GPA, but rolling admissions can improve your chances substantially. 

Which Popular Colleges Accept Rolling Admissions?

Some universities have a deadline for rolling admissions, while others don’t. Below you’ll find popular schools that accept rolling admissions and their rolling admissions process.  

Pro Tip: Financial Aid deadlines vary from school to school and are not the same as admissions deadlines.

1. Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University is known for its top-notch research facilities, stellar curriculum, and many majors. Rolling admissions start in August, and Penn State has no deadline. But we recommend turning in your forms by December 1st if you want your application to be prioritized. Don’t forget to look at their website if you’re applying to accelerated or other competitive programs like Schreyer’s Honors College, nursing, or pre-med. 

2. The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama also accepts rolling admissions from early September through January 15th. This large public university is well known and has a high acceptance rate.

3. The University of Pittsburgh

 The University of Pittsburgh has had a recent surge in applicants. Many in- and out-of-state students apply to this prestigious university. You can apply to Pitt whenever you are ready, as they review applications year-round. However, if you are applying for scholarships, turn in all your forms by December 15th. 

4. Arizona State University

Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona State University is another great option for students that want to apply to a school with rolling admissions. If you want priority for your application send it in by November 1st. Otherwise, Arizona State takes applications through February 1st.  

5. Michigan State

Founded in 1817, Michigan State accepted 16,701 students in 2021, with around 7,290 enrolling for the fall semester. With its large range of courses, extracurriculars, and facilities, Michigan State might just be the school for you. 

Rolling admissions is a little different at UM, though. Applications sent before November 1st are considered early; those sent before February 1st, are regular; those after February 1st, rolling. 

6. The University of Tulsa

The University of Tulsa has a flexible rolling admission policy and admits students who have earned a high school diploma or equivalent during the previous spring semester. The best time to submit your rolling admissions application is around January 15th, but as always, the sooner the better.

7. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 

Applications for the University of Tennessee can be sent at any time—even up until a week before classes begin in the fall! This rolling admissions policy is great for students who need extra time to prepare their applications, such as students who want to apply to another safety school late in the application process. 

8. The University of Maine

University of Maine applicants should turn in their applications by December 1st. After this date, you can still participate in rolling admissions, but you’ll only get an acceptance letter if there are spots available for students.  

9. Oklahoma City University

OCU is a private school that offers a variety of majors in the arts and STEM. OCU has no set deadline for submitting your application. However, if you want to be considered for on-campus housing and scholarships, submit your forms by December 1st. Applications are accepted as early as June. 

10. University of New Haven

Finally, the University of New Haven, a private school in Connecticut with a fairly high acceptance rate, uses rolling admissions for its application process. You can turn in your forms from September to January 19th. However, the school does recommend having your application ready by the first week of January!


Submitting your college application early is the first step in gaining admission to your top-pick university. In addition, a majority of students prefer to submit their applications in the early fall. However, if you want to submit your application at a later time, or you want to stagger your applications, consider applying through rolling admission. 

Rolling admissions offers a little more freedom and versatility for students who need more time to make decisions. This type of admission process is also quicker and can help you receive news earlier if you send in your application sooner. Let those applications roll! 

If you are interested in learning more about the college admissions process, or about college life in general, check out more of our blogs and resources here at HelloCollege. We believe that preparing for university shouldn’t be scary, and we are here to help guide you or your student through the process every step of the way.

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The Hello College Team

HelloCollege CEO Andrea Emmons has spent the last 15 years guiding students and families across the country on their path to college. Andrea knows the profound impact proactive college planning has on the lives of students and is passionate about mentoring families through the process.
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About Our Founder

Kevin Krebs

Inspired by his parents, Kevin’s journey from a first-gen, diverse, low-income background to Northwestern University shaped him. After experiencing challenges, including student loan debt, he founded HelloCollege and has spent the last 25 years helping students successfully navigate college admissions.

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