The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs…
The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School andThe Short List: Online Programsto find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.
Colleges typically ask prospective students to submit applications by a specific due date so they can review credentials and identify the most promising candidates. However, there are some colleges with rolling admissions policies, which means that they evaluate applications as they receive them. The admissions process at institutions with this policy ends when all the spots in the incoming freshman class are taken.
Rolling admissions can reduce stress for high school seniors who are anxious about getting into college, experts suggest. Seniors who submit early applications to these programs often receive college acceptance letters during their fall semester, which can bring peace of mind and allow them to enjoy their last few months of high school, experts say.
Most National Universities — schools that offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and that produce influential academic research — do not have a rolling admissions process for aspiring undergraduates, U.S. News data reveal. Among the 301 ranked National Universities that submitted data about their undergrad programs to U.S. News in an annual survey, only about a quarter of these schools offer rolling admissions.
Each of the 10 highest-ranked National Universities with rolling admissions places among the top 100 in the 2019 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, but none are ranked within the top 50. Nine of these institutions are public schools, and one — Loyola University Chicago — is a private, Jesuit Catholic school.
Experts recommend that anyone interested in attending a college with rolling admissions apply as soon as possible, since early applicants have a leg up over late applicants. Colleges with rolling admissions typically respond to applicants with an admissions offer, waitlist placement or rejection about four to six weeks after submission, experts say.
Many undergraduate institutions with rolling admissions have a priority application date, which is when they recommend prospective students submit their materials so that they can have optimal admissions chances. All but one of the 10 highest-ranked universities with rolling admissions has a priority application date. That date varies widely, ranging from Nov. 1 to Feb. 1. The University of Pittsburgh is the only university on this list without a priority application date.
Below is a list of the 10 highest-ranked National Universities with rolling admissions. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2018 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The rolling admissions data above are correct as of Sept. 18, 2018.