Niche Resources
Niche Resources
Niche Resources

Is it Too Late to Apply to College? (Spoiler Alert: Probably Not)

Looking to apply to colleges late in the game? Scroll down to see a list of schools with March deadlines for regular decision. Below that, find a link to schools with rolling admission.

As waitlists fill and the early decision deadlines pass by with alarming speed this spring, students are finding themselves revamping their college lists to add more schools with late spring deadlines. If you happen to find yourself in a similar contingency plan pursuit, you can take heart in knowing that many competitive schools offer later deadlines.

The avenues in which these later deadlines are offered vary between rolling admissions and the regular decision cycle. It is important to know the subtle difference between these two types of admission cycles before blindly submitting an application, to be able to manage your own expectations and level of patience.

Regular vs. Rolling Admission: What do they mean?

The key distinction between the two terms lies within the notification of admission. In regular decision, the process is straightforward: There’s a published application deadline, and the admissions department informs all applicants at the same time as to whether they’ve been accepted or not. Rolling admission refers to a school’s admission policy to evaluate applications as they are submitted, and inform students as they’re accepted (or not).

One common misunderstanding about rolling admission is that they’re always accepting applications. While that’s essentially true, like at any school, there are only a certain number of spaces available per class, and they can fill up quickly. Therefore, if a college with rolling admission is among your top choices, it still behooves you to apply as early as possible.

When considering both regular and rolling admission schools for your college list, it is encouraged to add schools with reasonable regular decision deadlines alongside schools with rolling admission. If you have done your homework in advance, you can easily apply to rolling admission schools immediately following any early action deadlines on your list to place yourself in the best scenario for success. 

The advantage of regular decision deadlines is the presence of structure. The advantage of rolling admission is the flexibility.

Regular Decision: Pros and Cons

The advantage of regular decision deadlines is the presence of structure. With a hard deadline, schools are able to evaluate their incoming freshman class as a whole, instead of evaluating applications as they trickle in. The deadline involved also eliminates the option of procrastinating college applications until May. A February or March regular decision deadline ensures that you will hear an admission decision with plenty of time to evaluate your financial offers before National Decision Day (May 1).

The disadvantage of this method lies in the potential for mismatched schedules. Colleges are possibly missing out on admitting excellent students who may have received disappointing news from their dream school past the regular decision deadline. A student who had their heart set on a school they applied early to, but didn’t get into, may not have enough time to apply by other schools’ regular decision deadlines. Likewise, students also may be missing out on excellent academic matches due to the timeline of hearing back from early decision deadlines with very little time to complete an application for a regular decision deadline.

Rolling Admission: Pros and Cons

The advantage of rolling admission is the flexibility. The school will evaluate you as your application is submitted, and you are not waiting until a scheduled day to receive word of your admission. Rolling admission is not binding and typically has long decision windows due to their structure, and therefore is the perfect solution for students who have received discouraging news from their top schools late in the game. From there, it is up to the rolling admissions school’s specific policies regarding accepting applications after the National Decision Day on May 1. 

As mentioned, it is still encouraged to apply through rolling admissions as early as you are able. Despite the lack of deadline, colleges only have a certain number of spots, so if it’s important to you to get one of them, don’t wait. Your financial package will also most likely be dispersed on a rolling basis as well and waiting until the last minute does not allow you ample time to weigh financial comparisons between schools. Take advantage of the flexibility of rolling admission, but do not allow procrastination to turn this flexibility into a disadvantage in the long run.

Colleges with March Deadlines

Still looking to apply to more colleges late in the game? Here’s a list of schools with March deadlines for regular decision. Below that, find a link to schools with rolling admission.

Good luck!

school Overall Niche Grade Deadline
Overall Niche Grade A-
Deadline March 15
Overall Niche Grade A-
Deadline March 15
Overall Niche Grade A-
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade A-
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B-
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade NA
Deadline March 15
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B-
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B-
Deadline March 15
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
school Siena College
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 15
Overall Niche Grade A-
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade A
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade A-
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade A
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B
Deadline March 15
Overall Niche Grade A-
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade A
Deadline March 15
Overall Niche Grade B+
Deadline March 15
school Wells College
Overall Niche Grade C
Deadline March 1
Overall Niche Grade B-
Deadline March 1
Search Colleges with Rolling Admission

Author: Michaela Schieffer

Michaela Schieffer is a former admissions counselor and now independent college counselor, guiding students through their college applications and essays through MoonPrep.com. Moon Prep's specialty lies in the Ivy League, direct medical programs (BS/MD), and highly competitive universities.