What is Rolling Admissions & Which Schools Accept It?

You’ve probably heard of the rolling admissions 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 the advantages and disadvantages of rolling admissions.

What Exactly is Rolling Admissions?

Typically, if you employ the standard college application route, you have to turn everything in by a set date. For regular college admissions, the deadline is typically around December or January. On the other hand, rolling admission offers students a longer period of time to turn in their applications. Those applications are reviewed as they come in, not all at once. 

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

Specifically, unlike other admission routes, rolling admissions don’t have a set deadline. Still, just because your college application can be sent in when you want, doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed a spot. 

While rolling admissions do accept late applications, schools will only continue accepting applications until there are no spots left, so submit your rolling admissions application sooner rather than later. 

When Will You Receive News About Rolling Admissions?

Rolling admissions 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 rolling admissions institutions review applications as soon as they are received, college admissions committees are able to respond more quickly. So, if you apply early, you’ll receive your response a lot sooner, often within four to eight weeks. If you turn in your application early on you can even see the results of your application within two weeks.

What Are The Advantages of Rolling Admissions?

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 tell each school whether you’ll attend. This gives you time to apply to other colleges and consider your options.

2. Reduced Stress 

If you don’t want to wait months to hear back from your preferred college, apply rolling decision. Knowing which schools will accept you early on 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. There are fewer people 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?

Rolling admissions differ from school to school. Some universities have a deadline for rolling admissions, while others don’t. Below you’ll find popular schools that accept rolling admissions and what their rolling admissions process is like.  

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 wide range of 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 an 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. This large public university is well known and has a high acceptance rate. Rolling admissions are accepted from early September through January 15th. 

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!

Conclusion

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 admissions. 

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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Rasha Myers

Rasha Myers

Rasha, an educator, and administrator with over a decade of experience, believes education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Passionate about developing future generations, she has devoted her life to seeing an increase in both the availability and quality of education. As they embark upon the college admissions process, Rasha strives to ensure that every student has access to the tools and resources they need to make the best financial and educational decisions. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Tuskegee University.