Common questions for university applications

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If you are currently working on your applications for Fall 2021 admission to US universities, here’s what you need to know

Welcome back readers to the column Destination USA. Since many students are currently working on their applications for Fall 2021 admission to U.S. universities, today we will focus on frequently asked questions related to these applications.

Q:What are the deadlines for applications for master’s programs at the U.S. universities? Has COVID-19 impacted these deadlines?

A: Each institution sets its own deadline and is usually firm about not accepting applications after that time, particularly if the institution is very popular. There are two common application cycles for the United States: Fall semester starting August/September and Spring semester starting January/February. For Fall semester, deadlines for applications are generally between October and March and for Spring semester, between July and September. If, however, a college indicates that it operates “rolling admissions,” late applicants may still have a fair chance of acceptance.

Nonetheless, it is a good idea to submit your application as early as possible. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents, application forms, references, and official score reports reach the universities safely and on time. It is also a good idea to check websites or reach out to admissions offices to learn about any changes related to COVID-19.

Q:When does admission for bachelor’s programmes take place in the United States and what are the application deadlines?

A: Academic intake and application deadlines for undergraduate (Bachelor’s) programmes in the United States vary by university. Fall and Spring semesters are the two major academic intake periods.

Fall semester begins from mid-August to September, at the beginning of the academic year, while the Spring semester starts in January, in the middle of the academic year. A few universities only offer Fall semester intake while others offer both Fall and Spring semester intake.It is important that students check the university website for admission periods and respective application deadlines before working on their applications.

Bachelor’s programme admissions in US universities have different application deadlines: regular decision, early decision, early action, and rolling admission. As with graduate programs, students should reach out to individual institutions to learn of any changes in schedule related to COVID-19. For example, many universities are only offering virtual, rather than in-person, campus tours at the moment.

– Monika Setia (Regional Officer and Education USA Adviser at the U.S. – India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad)


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