But that’s where colleges with rolling admissions come in. I admire how you can apply as early or late as you want and still have a chance of getting an acceptance letter.
Top Colleges That Offer Rolling Admissions
Many colleges offer rolling admissions, but some are more well-known than others. Luckily, you can apply to some of the top schools in the country with this system.
|College or University||Priority Deadline||Acceptance Rate|
|Arizona State University||February 1||85%|
|Arkansas State University||Not specified||77%|
|Baruch College, CUNY||February 1||39%|
|Colorado State University||February 1||84%|
|Concordia University||December 1||71%|
|Indiana University||February 1||77%|
|Iowa State University||March 1||91%|
|Loyola University Chicago||December 1||68%|
|Michigan State University||November 1||78%|
|North Carolina State University||February 1||56%|
|Ohio State University||February 1||52%|
|Oklahoma State University||Not specified||74%|
|Penn State University||December 1||55%|
|Purdue University Indiana||February 1||59%|
|Rutgers University||December 1||60%|
|University of Alabama||February 1||59%|
|University at Buffalo||November 15||56%|
|University of Houston, Texas||October 15||62%|
|University of North Carolina||December 1||23%|
|University of Pittsburgh||November 1||59%|
Some of the top schools with rolling admissions have relatively high acceptance rates. So don’t be afraid to shoot your shot and apply to your dream university.
Overview of Rolling Admissions
Rolling admissions generally lasts from August 1 to August 1. That means you could apply up to a year before you plan to start college. I think that’s nice if you know you’ll have a busy senior year and don’t want to balance applications with your current classes.
Applying before the priority deadline is ideal and can increase your chances of getting in. But as the name suggests, rolling admissions means there’s no set deadline for the application.
So if you miss the priority deadline, you can still apply and potentially be admitted to the school you want. What’s more, most rolling admission decisions are made within a month or two of submitting your application, so you won’t have to wait months to hear back.
Rolling Admissions Application Requirements
Most colleges with rolling admissions require a lot of the same things as other colleges. As you prepare your application, make sure you organize everything. Then, you won’t have to scramble to find essential documents.
Statement of Purpose
Some colleges may require you to submit a statement of purpose. This is basically a short essay where you explain why you want to attend a specific school. I’d try to customize it to the specific school.
Maybe there’s a class you really want to take or a major you’re interested in. Share that, and mention the school specifically. That can show the admissions staff that you did your research into the college and didn’t just copy and paste your statement of purpose across applications.
Letters of Recommendation
Especially if you’re looking into certain majors, you may be required to submit one or more letters of recommendation. These are letters that come from your teachers, employers, or others who know you well but aren’t relatives.
I’d be careful about who I asked. While a recent boss may know you, they might not know how you do in school.
Be sure to give your references plenty of time to write their letters, particularly if you want to comply with the priority deadline.
But the nice thing is that it’s okay if they submit their letters later since you’re going after rolling admissions.
GPA and Transcripts
Of course, you’ll also need to submit transcripts from your current high school or college. I believe I was able to submit unofficial transcripts with my application for college. But once I got in, I had to request an official copy.
Having good grades can be especially helpful if other parts of your application are lacking. Also, a good GPA may help you qualify for scholarships so that you don’t have to take out loans. For example, I was able to get a couple of tuition waivers that helped me pay for grad school.
Standardized Test Scores
Most colleges also require that you submit standardized test scores. If you’re going into college, you’ll need to send the university your SAT or ACT score. And at the graduate level, you might need to submit scores for the GRE or GMAT.
I’m awful at standardized tests, even though I generally did pretty well in class. If you’re also a bad test taker, I’d focus on other aspects of your application. Then, they can help make up for a low test score so that you can get into college.
As a freshman, you shouldn’t have to show work experience. However, graduate applicants may be required to include work experience. I’d look at the specific requirements for the school and degree I wanted to determine if I should include a resume.
Pros of Rolling Admissions
As you compare colleges with and without rolling admissions, you may wonder what makes the lack of a concrete deadline so great. I appreciate a few advantages that this system has to offer.
No Worries About Missing a Deadline
It’s super convenient how many colleges that have a rolling admissions policy don’t have a set deadline. That means you don’t have to worry about a date passing and not being able to apply to your dream college.
Sure, there’s a priority date. But that cutoff isn’t as big of a deal as the date at a college with a regular admissions deadline.
Set Yourself Apart
If you get your application in before the priority deadline, you may increase your chances of getting into the school. Applying early could also help you receive your admission decision even sooner than someone who applies later.
Compare Other Colleges
I’d look at the college website to be sure, but rolling admissions doesn’t always lock you into attending the school. So if you’re not sure where you want to go, you can apply but keep your options open.
That includes applying to schools with a more traditional admissions deadline.
Cons of Rolling Admissions
Unfortunately, rolling admissions isn’t the perfect system. I’d keep a few drawbacks in mind before applying to any of the top schools.
No Motivation to Apply
I’m pretty self-disciplined, but I know not everyone is. So if you’re not, it could be easy to procrastinate working on your application. After all, you have basically until the end of the summer to apply and could still get in.
But that could come back to bite you if you apply too late. All of the slots may be gone by the time you apply, so even if your application is perfect, you might get rejected.
It Prioritizes Early Applications
Now, the fact that there’s no deadline could actually motivate you to apply early. The school will admit applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis. So if you apply in the fall, you might be admitted even if your application is less than stellar.
More Record Keeping
If you apply to multiple colleges with rolling admissions, you’ll have a lot of admin work. You have to remember where you’ve already applied and what schools you’ve gotten into. That can be stressful and take up a lot of time.