In addition to admit, deny, and waitlist decisions, some schools send out offers for spring admission. While less common than the typical admit, waitlist, or deny, spring admission is becoming more common each year. Here’s what you need to know.
When colleges don’t have enough room for all of the students they want to take to begin in the fall semester, they may extend offers to a small group of students to enroll starting in the spring semester (as opposed to the fall). Students who accept this offer will essentially begin college in January instead of August or September.
There are several reasons why colleges that don’t have enough room in the fall will have space in the spring: upperclassmen will study abroad, some seniors will graduate early, and a few freshmen may not return for the spring semester. All of these scenarios create space on campus, allowing spring semester freshmen to move in.
Starting late doesn’t mean you’ll graduate late. Students are often able to “make up the difference” by taking an extra class or two for a couple of semesters, or by taking classes during the summer. In addition, some colleges will allow spring semester freshmen to study abroad during the fall semester and earn college credit that will transfer to the college.
Some colleges will offer a separate orientation for students who begin in the spring semester. This gives spring semester freshmen the opportunity to meet each other and become acclimated to the college before starting class. Colleges may also offer other programming to help integrate new students into the campus community. If you were offered spring admission, it’s important to check with the college about how they help incoming freshmen who enter in the spring.
Starting in the spring can be a great option for students who are interested in exploring career interests, pursuing independent projects, traveling or studying abroad, or focusing intently on a sport or art without needing to think about academic coursework at the same time. However, many students are excited and ready to begin college right away, in which case, 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.