In addition to admit, deny, and waitlist decisions, you may receive an offer of admission for the spring semester. You’re probably less familiar with spring admission, but it’s becoming increasingly common. Here are some answers to questions you might have about your spring acceptance.
Why spring admission? Colleges use spring admission when they want to admit more applicants than they actually have room for on campus for the fall semester. As a result, a small group of admitted students will be told they can enroll in the spring semester instead of the fall. There will be space available for new freshmen to move in for the spring semester because some students will study abroad, graduate in December, or transfer to other schools. This way, colleges are able to offer admission to the students they want to, and have enough room in the classrooms and dormitories.
What will I do during the fall semester? Generally, as long as you don’t take courses for credit at another college or university, you can do just about anything during the fall semester. This could include traveling or study abroad; getting a job or internship; training for a marathon; focusing on your art or music; or pursuing an independent project like writing or research. If you’re not sure what to do during the fall, you can talk to the college’s admissions office for suggestions, or ask your college counselor.
What happens when I get to campus in the spring? When you get to campus, some colleges have an orientation specifically for spring semester freshmen to meet each other and become acclimated to the college before starting class. There may also be additional programming and resources available to help you integrate into the school community. Before accepting an offer of delayed admission, be sure to find out what resources the college has to help spring semester freshmen adjust to college life.
When will I graduate? Starting late doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll graduate late. Students are often able to catch up by taking an extra class or two for a couple of semesters, or by taking classes during the summer. You may also be able to get college credit if you study abroad during the fall semester.
If any of the schools you applied to offer you admission for the spring, don’t rule it out right away, especially if the school was one of your top choices. Spring admission can be a great option for you if you want to spend some time exploring your interests without needing to think about academic coursework at the same time. However, if you’re excited and ready to begin college right away, a spring semester start may not be the best fit.
When deciding whether to accept a spring admission offer, it’s important to consider not only how much you like the school, but also how important it is to you to begin college right away.