What Is Rolling Admission?
Rolling Admission means that the college considers applications as they are received and sends out admissions decisions throughout the application cycle. The college doesn’t wait until the application deadline to evaluate applications, and students don’t have to wait until the entire batch of applications has been considered to know what their status is. Under Rolling Admission, students do not make a binding commitment to attend if accepted.
Apply Now or Apply Later?
Many colleges that use Rolling Admission have high admission rates, accepting more than half the students who apply. Applying early in senior year could mean being admitted long before some of your peers even finish their applications. This can dial back the stress of senior year considerably.
Some students took a few semesters to develop strong high school study skills. For them Rolling Admission offers the choice of waiting to apply until fall grades are available, but still having an admission decision within a few weeks.
Rolling Admissions can also be helpful to students who realize during the application cycle that they need to broaden their college list to include more schools with a high chance of admission or colleges that are a better financial fit.
Specific programs within a college might be exceptions. For example, a college might have a specific fall deadline for nursing or professional flight programs, where access to hands on instruction limits the number of students accepted each year.
As with all applications, it is important to double check for deadlines related to priority financial aid consideration or honors programs.
As an example of how details matter, look at Texas A&M University. Students may apply July 1 – December 1, while the Apply Texas application is open. Applications are considered either under the Top 10% Admit program (for state residents with class rank in the top 10%) or using holistic review (for Texas students outside the top 10% or for out of state students). Admissions decisions are communicated to applicants on a rolling basis. But there is also an Early Action deadline that is ONLY applicable to Engineering Majors. Because TAMU is a popular school, students interested in engineering should consider meeting the Early Action deadline, especially if they are applying under holistic review.