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Articles / Applying to College / Is Sooner Better For Rolling Admissions?

Is Sooner Better For Rolling Admissions?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Oct. 5, 2010

Question: My daughter is a solid C student (learning issues discovered mid-sophomore year). Some of the schools she is looking at (small, not competitive) have rolling admissions. Is it better for her to get her application in or is it more important to wait until the first grading period is complete? She has a 2.3 and her first trimester grade should be a 2.5?

You don't say when the trimester ends, which could be a critical piece of this puzzle. However, it sounds like there is only going to be a small difference between her previous GPA (2.3) and the grades she anticipates (2.5). So, in this case, sooner is probably better. Had your daughter expected to jump from a 2.3. to significantly higher trimester grades (~3.0 or above) then I would advise you to hold off, especially if the trimester will wrap up by some time in November.

Also, given that your daughter's list includes colleges that you describe as "small, not competitive," it makes sense to me that she should show her commitment by getting her application in ASAP. It would also be a plus for her to demonstrate her (genuine, of course) interest in these schools in other ways .... e.g., interviews (if offered), an application cover letter explaining why each college is a good fit (not necessary if the application asks this already or if your daughter can't get beyond generic reasons such as, "I felt at home when I visited" or "The dorms looked really nice.")

Finally, you may not have much influence when it comes to what the guidance counselors says in his or her references. But if you can put in a word about mentioning your daughter's late LD diagnosis and her upward trend since, including this term, that should work in her favor as well.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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