What Is Rolling Admission?

Sara Lindberg
Freelance Writer
Former High School Counselor
If you visit enough college websites, you’re bound to come across the term “rolling admission.” At first glance, you might not think it’s much different than regular admission. But dig deeper and you’ll find that it gives you more options when it comes to applying to college. The most obvious difference is in the deadline: there isn’t one. Some schools may have a suggested window to apply or a priority deadline, but when a school has rolling admission, they accept students as they receive applications rather than having a typical May 1 deadline. The “rolling” part of this process means that colleges evaluate applications until all of the available spots are filled for that year.

If one of the schools on your list has rolling admission, apply there first. You’ll have a better chance of securing a spot since more of them are available. It’s also likely you’ll hear sooner about acceptance than other schools. Plus, you’re not required to commit to the school until their deadline to submit a deposit. 

Another plus: since the idea behind rolling admission is to keep the application window open until all spots are filled, you may still be able to apply (and get accepted) late in the game. This is good news for students who decide later in their senior year that they want to go to college.

For more answers to questions like these, visit our Ask the Experts - College Admission section!

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