5 Reasons to Apply to Safety Schools with Rolling Admissions

Catherine Kannam

5 Reasons to Apply to Safety Schools with Rolling Admissions

Applying to safety schools with rolling admissions was one of the best decisions I made during my college application process. By October 17th of my application cycle, I knew I was going to college. Don’t underestimate what a HUGE relief this can be!

Schools that offer rolling admissions do not follow the standard November 1st deadline for Early Decision and Early Action, or January 1st for Regular Decision.  Schools with rolling admissions typically accept applications starting September 1st until their class is filled. This means you can apply right now! And you should apply as soon as you can, since acceptance rates are highest when more open spots are available.

As national college admissions rates shrink year by year, you’re probably familiar with the idea of tiering your college list. Even if your heart is set on the Ivy League or Stanford or any top school, you cannot count on getting an acceptance letter from these ultra-competitive colleges. No one can. During your college search, it’s important to consider colleges with a range of acceptance rates to ensure that you’ll end up at a school that's right for you. It’s great if a college list contains some reach schools where you’re aiming high, fit schools where you’re fairly confident of your chances of getting in, and safety schools where you’re almost certain you’ll be accepted. Exactly where these thresholds sit will change from applicant to applicant, but you can use tools like College Kickstart to calculate your likelihood of acceptance at schools on your list.

Applying to a safety school with rolling admissions completely changed (for the better) how I approached the college application cycle. Read the 5 reasons why I advise every college senior to look into safety schools with rolling admissions.

1. Peace of Mind:

If you apply to safety schools with rolling admissions, you will know you’re going somewhere before you even apply during early action or early decision rounds. You will have peace of mind knowing that, no matter what, you will be a college student.

A safety rolling admit school does not have to be your favorite college. If they happen to be at the top of your list, that’s fantastic! You may be done with the application process before most of your classmates have even started it. Even if these schools aren't your dream colleges, applying to safety schools with rolling admissions creates the earliest possible safety net. I dreamed of Bowdoin and Dartmouth when I applied, but still liked Temple enough to prepare an early, rolling application. Getting an early acceptance letter will ensure that YOU’RE GOING TO COLLEGE!

2. Scanning Your Application:

You should read your applications dozens of times. You should have your parents, older siblings, grandparents, teachers, and mentors read it to make sure it’s perfect. You should read your application until you are sick of it! But sometimes, every person that reads your application might not catch an anecdote that could rub an admissions officer the wrong way, or a few grammatical errors. Your additional readers won’t see your full application, completed by third party recommendations. What if your recommender doesn’t provide much of a recommendation? What if they undermine what you say? If you don’t get into the safety rolling schools that you apply to, this is a warning sign! Be grateful you now realize that something is wrong before submitting all of your applications on January 1st. Be precautious, and apply to safety schools with rolling admissions.

3. Fewer Applications!

Even though most U.S. schools accept the Common App, multiple school applications require an investment of time and money. Most schools ask at least one supplemental essay question, ranging from “Why school X?” to multiple unique questions like those from UChicago. If you’re applying to over 10 schools, the application fees also quickly build up.

But once you get into a safety rolling school, you can take all other safeties off your list. You have the backup you need! You know what this means? Fewer essays to perfect (and more time to invest in your fit and reach school applications) and more money in your bank account. Take the time to apply to a safety rolling school early on, and you’ll be happy later.

4. Be Ahead of the Game:

Bottom line: once you’ve completed an application for a rolling safety school, you’re done with half the battle! You’ll have your Common App biographical information, activities list, your personal statement, and letters of recommendation. All that’s left: supplemental essays and tailoring your application to each school on your list. You’ve got the foundation of your applications all done! Apply to safety rolling schools because the earlier timeline will force you to be ahead of the game.

5. Beat the Recommendation Rush:

Applying to safety schools with rolling admissions will not only make sure that you’re on top of it, but might also help ensure that you receive more thoughtful letters of recommendation. This is the time of year when teachers write many, many recommendations. The fact is that teachers often dust off an old reference letter template, insert the proper student’s name, and customize it here and there. These generic letters are easy for admissions officers to identify and often come with overlooked typos (The teacher may not remember to switch all of the times your name is supposed to appear, for instance!). You want better than a generic letter!

If you ask your teachers to complete your letter before they are swamped with other requests, odds are you’ll get a better result. Take the time to write a cover letter, thanking your teachers for their effort and outlining specific traits and achievements that you’d like them to highlight. Be proactive and professional, and you’ll get a glowing letter of recommendation.

Not only is it great to get an acceptance letter early on, but applying to safety schools with rolling admissions will also help you put together every part of your application. Apply to safety schools with rolling admissions for the relief, efficiency, and preparation!

Sign Up for Our monthly Newsletter

to get the best admissions tips