There are a lot of factors you'll have to pay attention to while you're crafting your list of dream, target, and safety schools. Those can include the availability of financial aid, the location of the school, and what programs the school has to offer. But one of the most important is the application deadline.
What a deadline means for you may seem obvious enough — get your material to the school by a certain date, or you can't be accepted. But some colleges don't provide a firm deadline. Instead, they offer what's called rolling admission. This process still requires you to submit the same application — it just means that the school won't wait until a cutoff date to start evaluating it. The school goes through each application as it gets them, continuing to do so until it has filled every available seat. Here are three ways to help reduce the stress of the application process by considering rolling admission.
Rolling Admission Can Remove Some Stress
First, let's talk about speeding up your application process. The rolling admission process is pretty fast! The earlier you get your application in, the earlier you'll have your answer. Sometimes that means hearing back within as little as two months. With an abridged timeline like that, think about how much of a burden would be taken off your shoulders if you were able to start senior year with a college acceptance already in your hands!
Rolling Admission Lets You Maintain Some Flexibility
Second, rolling admission can accommodate both early and late submissions. On the early side, it has the advantage of not being binding (as opposed to Early Decision), you don't have to worry about committing to that college should you be accepted. You'll have until the school's deadline to decide whether to attend. On the later side, schools with rolling admission also typically have lengthier admission windows. That means, if you choose to apply to these schools later, you'll often still have time to do so after other school's regular deadlines have passed you by should you need to.
Rolling Admission Can Give You A Head Start
Third, rolling admission can give you a leg up on your peers who may be applying to the same school. The earlier you apply to a school with rolling admission, the less direct competition you'll face. The school will consider your application before any they may receive after yours. If you submit your application close to the beginning of the admission window, the school will still have its entire incoming class to fill.
Keep in mind that rolling admission is not a way to skirt the requirements of a regular application: You'll still need a great GPA, strong test scores and impressive essays if you want to snag a spot. It's simply another option that can have some added benefits for students looking to get ahead of the game. Research schools' application deadlines with our books The Best 385 Schools and The Complete Book of Colleges.
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