Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Undergrad Application Deadlines: Regular vs. Rolling Admission

By Xiao Lu
World Education Services

When you’re applying to colleges in the U.S., you may notice that some schools have a strict application deadline, while other are marked as rolling admission. So what’s the difference?

- Regular admission, also known as precipice admission, features an established deadline. It may be in January or February, or even November if you’re applying for early decision. But there is always a clearly stated deadline, and it’s strictly enforced. If your application arrives after the deadline, the admissions office probably won’t consider your application. Schools that use regular admission review applications in comparison to one another, in addition to comparing a candidate’s credentials against the school’s admissions standards.

- Rolling admission features no absolute deadline. Rolling admissions may enable you to apply later, like early in the summer; but other times it could mean that the class is filled by, say, early April. So there is a bit of gamble to applying late. Candidates aren’t compared to one another, because their applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. There are exceptions, however; some unique or competitive programs, like nursing, in an otherwise rolling admissions school, will hold onto students’ applications and compare them to each other when trying to fill a limited number of seats.

Deadline type
Specific deadline
First-come, first- served
Applicants compared to one another
Applicants compared to admissions criteria
Regular Admission

Rolling Admission



 If you’re an international student who wants to learn more about U.S. undergraduate applications, check out our March webinar, So You Want Study in the USA? UndergradApplication Tips on March 5 at 10 a.m. EST. 

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