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 and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.
Students can spread out the workload – and get their acceptance letters early – by applying to schools that offer rolling admissions.
Colleges with rolling admissions make decisions as they receive applications, so students often learn whether they are accepted in as little as four to six weeks. In other words, students who were accepted into schools with rolling admissions in the fall can breathe a little easier knowing they have at least one option by the time regular college application deadlines come in January or February.
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It's probably best not to wait too long to apply to a school with rolling admissions, though. Many schools have priority deadlines – the last date to apply for specific academic departments, honors programs or student aid.
Students looking for a well-respected school offering rolling admissions have a variety of options.
Pennsylvania State University—University Park is the highest-ranked National University that offers rolling admissions, according to data reported by 270 ranked schools in an annual U.S. News survey. Of those schools, 79 said they offer rolling admissions, including the University of Pittsburgh and Purdue University—West Lafayette.
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Below are the highest-ranked schools that reported offering rolling admissions on the spring 2013 survey. Due to ties there are more than 10 schools on this list.
|School name (state)||U.S. News rank and category||Priority deadline|
|Pennsylvania State University—University Park||37, National Universities||Nov. 30|
|University of Pittsburgh||62, National Universities||N/A|
|Purdue University—West Lafayette (IN)||68, National Universities||March 1|
|Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey—New Brunswick||69, National Universities||Dec. 1|
|University of Minnesota—Twin Cities||69, National Universities||Dec. 15|
|Michigan State University||73, National Universities||Nov. 1|
|Baylor University (TX)||75, National Universities||N/A|
|Stony Brook University—SUNY||82, National Universities||Jan. 15|
|SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry||86, National Universities||Feb. 1|
|University of Alabama||86, National Universities||Feb. 1|
|University of Tulsa (OK)||86, National Universities||Feb. 1|
Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were excluded from this list. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs, because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find schools with rolling admissions, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.
U.S. News surveyed nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2013 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's 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's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The rolling admissions data above are correct as of Nov. 5, 2013.