Let the Good Times Roll


It is still not too late to apply to universities for this fall.

It’s true that a lot of universities had their application deadlines long ago, in March or even November. However, some schools offer rolling admission for transfer students. They are what you are looking for at the last minute.

Typically, colleges that operate under a regular admission basis start evaluating all the applications after a hard deadline. But schools with rolling admission don’t have a specific deadline for transfer students. They evaluate applications as they’re received until all the slots for their incoming class are filled, which means they might still be waiting for the right applicants.

According to the College Openings Update, assembled by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, there are around 500 universities still accepting applications for fall 2018.

Although colleges with rolling admission tell you to apply as soon as possible — because the earlier you apply, the better chance you will have of being admitted — regardless of the time, it never hurts to give applying a shot, especially with so many schools not yet filled up for next year.

A notable advantage of rolling admission is that you could receive a response from the college very soon after you submit the application versus waiting for months until the regular announcement date, though it varies with different universities.

The fastest response I got from a university was two days after the office received my application materials. That was the University of Missouri, which is still accepting transfer applications.

And it took American University a month and a half to review my application after it was completed. But the process should be faster if you apply to schools right now because there are not many applicants this late.

Some schools with rolling admission require admitted students to respond within a set period of time. For instance, the University of Maryland requires admitted transfer students to respond to the offer within 30 days from the date of acceptance.

This means students who are admitted earlier have to respond to the offer earlier, which can be difficult for those waiting to hear from other schools. But by now, far more schools have sent out their decisions, so this is less of an issue.

Check college sites for transfer application deadlines. Most schools with rolling admission have a priority deadline, with all applications received after that date being reviewed on a rolling admission basis.

Some schools set a priority deadline to guarantee that applicants will receive responses on a specific date before they review regular applications. Most of the schools also consider the deadlines for merit scholarships, financial aids and housing applications when setting their priority deadline.

So it is possible that by the time you apply, you won’t be considered for on-campus housing or financial aid. But, again, it varies among different universities.

There is sometimes a misconception about rolling admission schools’ reputations. Despite no Ivy League schools take rolling admission for undergraduate transfer, it doesn’t mean that colleges with rolling admission are below average. In fact, there are numerous colleges participating in this admission method that are well known nationwide.

See the boxes for a list of some colleges with transfer rolling admission, but keep in mind that there are many more.

Don’t let the chance roll by. Go to the website of your dream school to see if they are still accepting transfer applications!

Universities Accepting Rolling Admission Application in Washington State

In Washington State:

  • Northwest University
  • University of Washington Bothell
  • University of Washington Tacoma
  • Seattle University
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • City University of Seattle
  • Whitworth University

Highly Ranked Universities Accepting Rolling Admission (National Rankings):

Pennsylvania State University—University Park (52)

Purdue UniversityWest Lafayette (56)

University of Pittsburgh (68)

Michigan State University (81)

Indiana UniversityBloomington (90)

Rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

By Frances Hui,
Political Editor