Learning about university application options:
Indian students opting for overseas education have numerous procedures to follow while applying to the universities of their choice. Most importantly, they must plan and apply to the courses by strictly adhering to the timelines stated by the universities. During this process, they are likely to come across terminologies like the early decision, early action, and rolling admission, to name a few.
This blog is focused on giving a broader overview of the term, “rolling admission” and a brief discussion about its merits and demerits. Let us begin by understanding what it means by “rolling admission”.
Regular Vs Rolling admission:
The only notable difference between regular admission and rolling admission is that the latter involves evaluation of the applications by the admissions committee as and when they are received, unlike evaluating them strictly after a stipulated deadline, as in the case of former. The term is self-explanatory and by rolling, universities mean the admissions are rolling (not fixed). Rather than fixing a particular date as the deadline, the most significant feature of rolling admissions is that it denotes an application period (say, with a start and end date). The application submission and admission decision processes are continuous and happen throughout the stated time range. The large application window usually ranges up to six months in a majority of universities having a rolling admission system in place.
Merits of rolling admission:
- Quicker response time: Once a student applies during the rolling admissions period, he/she can expect a response from the university within 4 to 8 weeks. In the non-rolling admissions process, the response is longer than this since every application is evaluated only after the official deadlines are over.
- Flexibility: The binding nature of early decisions is not attached to rolling admissions. A student has ample time to decide and proceed with accepting the offer. In the interim, one can still go ahead and apply to as many universities as required until the window for rolling admission closes.
- Competitiveness: In the rolling admission system, there are high chances of securing an admit if you opt to apply early. This is because applications are evaluated in real-time as and when they are received and the level of competitiveness is evenly spread throughout the application window period.
- Stress-free: No fixed deadlines entail less stress. A student gets sufficient time to relax, prepare application documents, and present it for admission. This definitely has a positive impact on the student who can complete the application process with care and caution by reviewing every aspect of the application in detail.
- Safer last resort: Rolling admissions not only help students who apply early but also those who apply late. Since a good number of universities with rolling admissions do not give a cut-off date, the availability of seats is kept open until the class requirement is filled. Though lesser, there is still a possibility of admission. So, even for those late birds, it can be considered as a safe last resort.
Demerits of rolling admission:
- Response for late application: Even in case of rolling admissions, if one applies very late, automatically the response from the universities will also be received late. The chances of admits get relatively lesser as the waiting time keeps increasing and this is likely to lead to stress.
- Quick closure of admissions: The biggest threat with rolling admissions process is that the seats get filled in real-time since applications are assessed as they arrive. So, the chances of admits are very high only if you apply on the initial days of the application window.
- Deadlines do exist: Though it is a process that does not have one single deadline, rolling admissions, in reality, might still have priority deadlines and the first round of application, which must not be missed. Deadlines do exist under this option and they are mostly hidden, so students must carefully assess and apply as soon as possible without missing the critical and priority deadlines.
- Quick decision warranted: Sometimes, a student applying for a college under rolling admissions ends up choosing an inappropriate program or college, owing to the fact that application submission, the response from college, and acceptance of offer, all of these happen so quickly. It becomes difficult to wait to hear the responses from other universities that a student has applied to (more so if those universities follow a non-rolling admissions process).
Need more help in understanding the admission process and how to apply? Please connect with our admissions team for more details. All the best!
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