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What Does Rolling Admission Mean for College Students?

Filed in School News by on March 4, 2021

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Rolling admission and regular admission look a lot alike with one key difference. Colleges with rolling admissions evaluate applications as they are received versus waiting to evaluate all applications after a hard deadline. Schools will continue to evaluate applications until they’ve filled all the slots for their incoming class.

What is rolling admission? Ever heard of it? If not, no need to fret. It’s not the most commonly known thing, and we’re here to tell you all about it.

What Does Rolling Admission Mean

What is Rolling Admission?

Rolling admission is a policy used by many colleges to admit freshmen to undergraduate programs. Many law schools in the United States also have rolling admissions policies. Under rolling admission, candidates are invited to submit their applications to the university anytime within a large window.

The window is usually over six months long, and some schools do not have a previously specified end date (the window simply closes when all spots are filled). The university will then review the application and notify the applicant of their decision within a few weeks from submission.

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.

Popular Colleges with Rolling Admissions

Some well-known schools with rolling admissions are

  1. Arizona State University
  2. Indiana University
  3. Loyola Marymount
  4. Michigan State
  5. Pace University
  6. Penn State
  7. Rutgers
  8. University of Alabama
  9. University of Maine
  10. University of Minnesota
  11. University of Pittsburgh
  12. University of Tulsa
What Does Rolling Admission Mean

What is the Difference Between Early Admission and Rolling Admission?

While early admissions and rolling admissions both mean that you can apply prior to the deadline, rolling admissions means that the school will continue to accept applications until all slots are full.

This, however, does not mean that they will necessarily accept you earlier, and unlike early admissions, rolling admissions is a system set by the college, and is not something the student can choose.


  1. Rolling admission might be less stressful for students, and university admissions offices have less data to process because applications do not all flow in at the same time.
  2. Students can finish their application anytime between the summer before their senior year and midway through their senior year and can submit it at leisure, taking the time to carefully review their application and not getting anxious about a nearing deadline.
  3. The organization receives applications continuously rather than in one or two bursts and is thus able to spend more time on each application individually.


  1. Most college guidance counselors advise that students submit their application soon after the school begins to accept them as many believe that colleges look more favorably on students who apply earlier in the year.
  2. Other times, universities may underestimate the number of students who will take the offer of admission, resulting in the number of spots filling rapidly; this can lead to more-qualified applicants being denied.
  3. This can create pressure on students who wait a little longer. Also, schools often use a first-come-first-served method to grant housing and aid to students.
  4. Applicants who believe rolling admission to mean no deadlines may miss the chance at housing or aid that they would have had if there were one set deadline.

Important Read:

Rolling Admissions Reputation

A misconception of rolling admissions is that, because the deadlines are more lenient, the schools will automatically accept students. This isn’t necessarily true, as rolling admissions colleges are looking at applications and accepting applicants as they receive them.

With a limited amount of spots available for admission, it can become more difficult to get in the later students apply.

While no Ivy League schools receive applications on a rolling basis, there are several reputable institutions that participate in this admissions method. On the other hand, the acceptance rates of these rolling admissions schools are relatively high.

What Does Rolling Admission Mean

When Should You Apply to a Rolling Admission School?

Since applications are reviewed as they roll in, you should get your application in early. If your school has a priority deadline, then you definitely want to meet that.

If not, it’s a good idea to set a deadline for yourself in the fall or winter. You could apply in November, December, or, at the latest, January.

What Are Other Kinds Of Admissions Systems?

Other admissions systems besides rolling admissions include early action, early decision, regular admission, early evaluation, deferred admission, and open admission.

Generally, colleges that use this system tend to have a higher acceptance rate, but should still not be seen as an easy way out.

CSN Team.

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