When I was in pastry school, there were two things I never perfected. The first was peanut brittle. And the second was pie. Or more specifically, baking my pie so that the bottom crust didn't end up underbaked and soggy with a perfectly baked filling or deliciously crispy and brown but with an overbaked, smushy, baby-food-type filling. Pie crust haunts me to this day.
So I consider it no small feat when I embark upon a homemade pie. This weekend, as I was rolling out my pie crust, I was thinking about the idea of "rolling", which (since my brain is constantly being racked for blog topics), led directly to an admissions question I receive quite often: "What does rolling admissions really mean?".
Here at Pacific, we operate under a true rolling admissions process. What that means is that, as applications are received and completed, they are also reviewed. So if you apply in August, you will likely know your final application status by September. Similarly, if you apply in January, you will probably know in February.
So this begs the question- how does the rolling admissions process impact when you should apply? Basically, it means that in general, the earlier you apply, the better. Why is this the case? Well, imagine you attend the first Interview Day. At that time, we will still have 90 seats left in the incoming class, so if we like all the applicants that interview that day with you, we could, in theory, admit you all. Now let's imagine you are at the second-to-last Interview Day, and there are only maybe 6 seats left in the class. Imagine the admissions committee wanted to admit all the applicants at your interview day- but we can't, right? Because there are only 6 seats left. So instead, we pick the strongest, most competitive 6 applicants for those remaining seats. So it is more competitive at the end than at the beginning, because towards the end, we are limited in how many students we can admit.
That said, the rolling admissions process does NOT mean that you have to apply the first week the application opens. Don't let the rolling admissions process stress you out- if you are on a family vacation over the summer and won't get to the application until September, no worries. Typically, a good rule of thumb is that, if you are happy with your academic profile, you should aim to apply by November 1. If you are concerned about your GPA (think below 3.2), and think that your Fall grades will help your application, you should aim to apply by January 1 (after your fall grades have posted).
Of course, keep in mind that the sooner you apply, the sooner you know if you are admitted (and it is always exciting to make a big "I got in!" announcement around the holiday dinner table!).
If you aren't sure when you should apply, give me a call. I am happy to work with you one-on-one to determine when your application will be most competitive.
P.S. Any tips/hints on how to get a brown bottom pie crust without making your apple filling into applesauce? If so, post in the Comments section. And as always, keep in mind that the advice given here is for Pacific only- I am not sure how other schools handle their rolling admissions process.