Do Colleges Have Rolling Admissions?

High school seniors applying to college are used to the short time range for applying to colleges and the expected pressure during the application period—sometimes beyond. This is different from rolling admissions where prospective students apply to undergraduate programs within a large window. let us know, “Do Colleges Have Rolling Admissions?”

Do Colleges Have Rolling Admissions?

Not all colleges use a rolling admissions system, nevertheless, over 25% of colleges offer rolling admissions. It basically means that they don’t wait until every application comes in to review them, and these applications don’t have deadlines.

The traditional college application process mandates you to submit all applications by a set deadline, typically in late December or January, then your application goes through the review stage. 

In the case of rolling admissions, colleges evaluate applications as they roll in, which allows students to apply within a wider time frame — usually from Fall to Spring. Although these colleges don’t have an application deadline, a well-timed application counts. 

Rather than receiving everyone’s application and working on other processes, admission officers evaluate applications on arrival. With no delay. A few of these schools inform candidates as early as two weeks after submitting their application while others notify them in four to eight weeks. 

Advantages of Rolling Admissions

Having no set deadline would sound advantageous to almost every ear. The fact that rolling admissions let you hear back in a short time is a conspicuous advantage. The sooner the application, the sooner you will hear back from your college.

Other advantages:

  • You apply with ease: The rolling admissions process is not as rigorous as the conventional college admissions process. You experience less stress on your end. Instead of the many stresses in college applications you go through within a short period, you have a wide time frame to properly examine your documents, essays, and other materials before sending them to the college. And the university itself would be less stressed.
  • Students have an edge over others: The earlier one applies, the earlier you know the school’s decision, and that gives you time to plan accordingly. If that’s where you want to be, you won’t have to apply to any other college.
  • You stand out in your application: Unlike the regular admission procedure, your application is reviewed once it is received. With this method, your application stands out because it is not compared along with the entire application or with many others, but with very few. Even when you are not the best, at that moment you could appear to be one. 
  • More time to work on yourself: It means you have more than enough time to work on various aspects of your application that need improvement or editing, and will likely have a top-shelf application in the end.
  • Having no deadline gives you more fluidity. It gives you flexibility.

Any Disadvantages?

Although applicants hear back on time from colleges with rolling admissions, they might risk making premature decisions. Every school is not the same. Some may allow you to accept or decline their offer when most schools expect responses from prospective students, while others might want early feedback. 

In such a case of requiring early feedback, you may not have much time to hear back from other schools that are your top priority. You are then left with the option of either turning down the rolling admission or accepting it at that early time. When you get other offers you will be unable to accept them if you had accepted the rolling admission.

Other disadvantages:

  • Some colleges have priority deadlines: Even though rolling admissions don’t have deadlines, you still have important deadlines to meet. Priority deadline offers candidates a higher chance of being admitted. Waiting after this deadline could possibly put you in a corner. Students submit early to increase their chances.
  • Opportunity to linger: If an applicant is not diligent they could procrastinate until the last minute and end up hurrying through their application. Since there is no apparent urgency, they put it off for another week which would likely become months. 
  • Spots fill up quickly.
  • The later you apply, the later you receive a reply.
  • The chances of getting into college get slim as applicants delay their applications.

 How Do Rolling Admissions Work?

It is always wise to start any important application early including rolling admission applications. No applicants would want to apply when all spots are filled. Late application means a lesser chance of being admitted. 

Most colleges keep accepting applications until the incoming class is filled. Applying through rolling admissions is not very different from normal college admissions, except without a fixed deadline. The general requirements for schools with rolling admissions are similar to other colleges. 

General admission requirements:

  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Co-curricular 
  • A high score in core subjects
  • High standardized test scores (GMAT/GRE/SAT/ACT)
  • Transcript

It is advisable to prepare all documents and materials before you begin your application. Information on the university’s requirements will be on their websites.

Colleges With Rolling Admissions

There currently are no ivy league colleges that use a rolling admissions system, however, there are plenty of highly reputable colleges that use this system. Many law schools have it as an option. Not all programs in some colleges accept rolling admissions, while others have hard deadlines.

Below are some schools with the rolling admissions program including their acceptance rates and priority deadlines:

  1. Pennsylvania State University has a 56% acceptance rate and a priority deadline by November 30.
  2. Michigan State University has a 76% acceptance rate and a priority deadline by November 1.
  3. Indiana University has an 80% acceptance rate and has a priority deadline of November 1.
  4. The University of Tulsa has a 69% acceptance rate. Its priority deadline is February 1.
  5. The University of Central Florida has a 45% acceptance rate. The priority deadline is September 1.
  6. The University of Pittsburgh has an acceptance rate of 59% and a priority deadline of November 1.
  7. The University of Houston Texas has an acceptance rate of 62%. The priority deadline is October 15.
  8. Pennsylvania State University has a 50% acceptance rate and a priority deadline by November 30.

Who Should Consider Rolling Admissions?

You should consider rolling admissions if you need more time to increase your standardized test scores or improve your GPA. Also if you are an indecisive procrastinator you could go for rolling admissions colleges.


Remember to submit early for a higher chance of getting an offer. Before you apply, explore your options. You might want to consider your location, major, and the school’s acceptance rate. The fact that there are no deadlines, does not mean that you should relax. Don’t get too comfortable. It is up to the applicant to determine if the process would exert pressure on them to stay on track. Creating a system that supports them will help.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s the difference between Early Action and rolling admissions?

Early Action allows students to apply before regular applicants by a set deadline; on the other hand, rolling admissions let students apply within a wide time frame without a rigid deadline.

2. Are Rolling Admissions Decisions Binding?

No. They are non-binding unlike  Early  Decision.