Why students should not defer their Admit to next Fall 2021:
Right now, we are living in uncertain times. Much is unknown in the face of this global pandemic — from the most trivial questions like when it will be possible to open the consulates, is it safe for Spring 2021, safe to travel, etc., even what we thought we could control has fallen prey to unpredictability.
If you’re thinking to defer the admit, you need to be sure to have all the facts at your disposal so you can make the decision that is right and appropriate for you. Universities have been working round the clock to put special measures in place, meaning that your university experience will be minimally compromised if you take your place this year. In fact, you could benefit by taking your place now.
Keeping that in mind, here are some myths busted(with valid reasons) why you should not defer your place(admission) to next Fall 2021.
Few myths on Spring vs Fall intake:
Myth: Students assume Fall intake is huge compared to Spring.
Fact: We admit the fact that Fall intake is huge compared to Spring, but this implies at a very minimalistic level. For example, courses like STEM, Arts, Communications are available for all the intakes whereas courses like Political Science, Library Science, Military Technologies (least preferred courses) are offered only once a year.
On-Demand courses like STEM, Communications, Psychology, etc., are always open for both the intakes.
Fall orientation is huge because the majority of the foreign students who apply from China & India will be finishing their end exams in April/May.
Note: A student would miss programs in Spring only in case they are some least preferred courses. Otherwise, technically it doesn’t make a difference between Fall and Spring for both Bachelors and Graduates.
US Education system has three types of Academic calendar; Semester, Trimester & Quarter.
- Semester based: Probably you are very familiar with this type since almost every University operates on this model. You all know well.
- Trimester based: As the name suggests, the trimester calendar divides the school year into three segments. For eg: Cleveland, Johnson & Wales, Northwest Missouri State, Michigan, Fairleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart are some Universities that operate in this model.
- Quarter based: An academic year is scheduled into 4 terms/intakes where summer is also an extra intake. Stanford, California, California Polytechnic State, California State (East Bay, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Bernardino), DePaul, Eastern Oregon, Louisiana tech, Oregon State, Portland State are some Universities’ works in this model.
Myth: Spring has fewer visa approvals compared to Fall
Fact: The ground reality is, Indian UG students complete their education in the month of April/May, and the majority of them apply for Fall. Some students do choose Spring by investing more time to prepare for GRE, IELTS, and other processes.
This makes the difference in the number of applications to particular intake but has nothing to do with visa approvals and denials.
VISA approvals are purely subjective to the interviews and have nothing to do with intake.
Myth: Spring intake is not eligible for students to choose a Summer internship.
Fact: The rule for Grad students: An exception to the academic year rule is provided for graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in CPT. The program requirement must be for all students in the program and listed in the program’s online curriculum description.
Fall vs Spring in Pandemic situation:
If you defer your university place to next year, you might find a shortage of funds could affect the quality of your course. “They will be making plans for some really quite severe cutbacks”.
It has been a long-maintained silence from consulates despite being the attempts made to find the tentative day of their operations and also the uncertainty of International flights is making to lose hopes for Fall 2020.
As it’s already mid of June, we anticipate very few chances for Fall 2020 for international students.
Things to keep in Mind for COVID-19:
If Students cannot make it for Fall 2020, then you need to understand that Spring 2021 is the AKA version of Fall 2020 for International students.
- Due to COVID-19, most Universities are deferring/postponing the Fall intake which clearly indicates that next Spring 2021 will be AKA version of Fall 2020. (which means, if nobody has a scope to fly and then they are supposed to apply for Spring 2021 for Fall 2020)
- One thing Applicants/Students need to keep in mind while thinking/waiting to defer next Fall 2021 is, Students/Freshers who graduate from colleges in 2021 will also apply for Fall 2021 who are your potential competition.
- You may miss the chance of availing funding/assistantships due to the fresh applications received from the graduates of 2021 and also the effect of COVID-19. A University may not support all the students for next Fall 2021.
- Also, imagine the crowd when 2020 aspirants are deferring to Fall 2021 while Universities receiving new applications from 2021 aspirants.
Why you should not defer to Fall 2021:
1. Students deferring to Fall 2021 might lose the opportunity of availing the same scholarship awarded in Fall 2020, as these grants are limited each year.
2. Some Universities may not allow you to defer Fall 2021 as they need to accommodate new applications from 2021 graduated aspirants.
3. Considering the student-faculty ratio, not all courses can accommodate both the deferred and new applications in a single classroom.
4. If 2020 and 2021 aspirants join in the same class and graduate at the same time, there would be a greater number of graduates than the vacancies available in the job market. It would be an enormous task for one to find a job with limited vacancies. And a year gap in resume leaves a mark to note.
5. The year gap in a resume is going to leave its black mark forever though the pandemic is temporary and to be faded soon.
6. Not all course places can be deferred, so it’s best to check with the institutions you have applied to if you are considering putting your place on hold. This may apply to most competitive Graduate courses.
7. Some institutions charge a deferral fee (anywhere between $100–$200), which must be paid when you apply to defer. Remember to check if this fee is refundable (in the case that you don’t take up the spot the following year, for example).
Points to be noted:
1. It’s your choice to choose between Online for Fall 20 or the best alternative to fill your professional journey to opt Micro Masters in edX while deferring to Spring 2021.
2. It is suggested to either, defer to Spring 2021 or enroll for an online class for Fall 2020.
3. Try to choose a Master’s with a minimum of 18 months duration. By the time you graduate, Hopefully, the Job market will be in a better place looking for a job.
4. Defer at earliest, grab new i20 and be ready to schedule a slot as soon as VISA consulates are back to normal.
5. Taking a year off can make the transition back to study a little difficult (think about micro-masters where their credits are likely to be accepted by universities: check before you consider)
6. If you have been granted a scholarship or bursary along with your course place, you may find that it has a ‘no deferral’ condition attached. This means that you will not be granted the scholarship when you begin your studies.
7. The latest update from Trump’s Admission department is to impose a ban on all Chinese grad students to USA who have tie-ups with the Military. This may sound unfortunate for them but it might help Indian students in facing less competition at visa approvals. Just anticipation.
If you’re still undecided about whether to take your place at university this year, consider your alternatives. If you can think of a better use of your time in the next 12 months, deferring could be the right option for you.
However, by starting your degree this year, you have a great opportunity to develop your skills and employability while placing yourself in a prime position to take advantage of the post-COVID job market.
Note: If you want to have any other thoughts, please do comment.