If a college or university lists a “rolling” admissions deadline, they process applications as they receive them, instead of waiting until a fixed deadline and processing them all at once. Applying to a school with rolling admissions can provide a host of potential benefits, but many students may not look for these types of schools specifically. Here are some quick facts about the subject.

Rolling admissions may provide some peace of mind.

The timeline of the college admissions process can be stressful; months of hectic agonizing over essays and transcripts are followed by months of silence, waiting and wondering. Those waiting moments provide great spaces for worries and stress to emerge. Even students with carefully chosen lists and great “safety” options might wonder: what happens if I don’t get in anywhere? What will I do then?

Applying to a school with rolling admissions offers a chance to circumvent some of that worry. If you’ve already been accepted to one school, waiting to hear back from other colleges becomes less about what happens if I don’t get in anywhere and more about I know I have at least one option. That can make a world of difference if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

If you’re applying to a school with rolling admissions, applying early is better.

As spots begin to fill up throughout the rolling admissions process, schools can afford to be more selective. Your best chance of being admitted to a school with rolling admissions is to apply early. Also, because one of the major benefits of applying to a rolling admissions school is having at least one acceptance letter before your other applications are even due, applying early just makes sense.

Financial aid deadlines may be different than admission deadlines.

At K-State, students can apply as early as 15 months before the beginning of the term in which they plan to enroll, or as late as 7 days before classes begin. However, scholarship applications are due in November. Again, earlier is better.

Earlier is better, but sometimes late is OK.

Often, some rolling admissions schools provide an option for students who need to make last-minute applications. At Loyola-New Orleans, 2015 classes begin on August 24th, but as of August 3rd their website says they’re still accepting applications. Do we suggest waiting until the very last minute? Not at all, but if you find yourself needing to look into new schools after conventional deadlines have passed, these schools might be your best bet.

In some cases, getting accepted earlier might mean making your decision early.

Some schools with rolling admissions are prepared to wait for your decision until you’ve heard back regarding your regular-decision applications. Some won’t. This depends on the school, so check to see what their decision deadlines are when you’re deciding where to apply.

Admissions can be beneficial to students navigating the college application process. Doing your research and being aware of deadlines and requirements can help you take the best advantage of rolling admissions.

Audrey Hazzard is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.