Pros vs Cons : Spring vs Fall Semester in the USA

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You must have read my previous post on graduate school admission in Spring semester, which discusses the different types of questions and ideas raised by graduate students.

If you haven’t read it (Spring semester admission in Graduate School), I strongly suggest that you first visit that post before continuing reading this. That previous article will give an overview of what the current article is all about.

I had received so many emails from students applying for Spring semester requesting that I post this article ASAP. However, I still haven’t completed the college short-listing part. I’m also planning to run a short quiz in future posts, aimed to generate awareness about the Graduate School admission process.

Fall vs Spring Semester

In this article, you can find helpful answers to the following questions:

  • Is it okay to apply for College Admission in Spring?
  • What about the admission chances?
  • What are the chances of getting visa?
  • When can I apply for Internships?
  • Will I be eligible for Summer internships?
  • Will Spring students be considered for scholarships and aid?

Is it okay to apply for College Admission for Spring?

Yes, it’s absolutely okay to apply for graduate school for the Spring semester.

What are the pros and cons when applying for graduate school in Spring?

  • Pros: None
  • Cons: None

What about universities’ acceptance rates?

Universities usually set a limit to the maximum number of students they can admit. And that limit is generally based on the resources that universities have.

Resources in universities refer to — the number of professors (to maintain a healthy student-to-professor ratio), physical classroom size to accommodate students, lab facilities (some biotech labs in small schools can accommodate only few number of students), and the like.

Another consideration is how much profit colleges are willing to make. If they aim for more profits, some schools can accept more students.

There are many more other factors that come into play and it is impossible to discuss everything here. However, all these above factors don’t have much effect or play any major role when students decide to apply either for Spring or Fall semesters in college.

Chances of getting Student Visa?

That’s completely not in anyone’s hands. We don’t know how much visa quota there are for each country or any other related information. I would safely say that you have the same chance to get visa for Fall, Spring or Summer. If you are confident and is capable to pass the tests and requirements, then you will get a visa.

When can I apply for Internships?

Rules and eligibility for international students when applying for Internships vary among schools. However, most schools will allow students to go for internships only after completing 2 semesters of study; in some schools, after the completion of 18 credits.

So if you’re going in Spring, you will be eligible to go for internship for Spring in the following year.

So there really isn’t any difference between Fall and Spring admissions. It should also be noted that you can go for internship even during Fall or Spring semesters, not just during Summer.

Will Spring students be considered for Scholarships and Aid?

I have talked about getting admission with scholarship in some of my other posts.

So, the idea behind this is simple. If you have a high GRE, you will get admitted and you have higher chances to get admission with scholarship if you contact the professors during the admission process.

Thus, this rules out the unfounded myth that students will never get any scholarship for college admission during the Spring semester.

Now, things must be already clearer with you and most of your doubts erased. Those applying for graduate schools during Spring have the same chances and resources that students will have when they apply for college in a Fall semester.

Now, let me answer some other ‘interesting’ notions that students tend to have about college admissions in Spring semester.

Myth 1: Courses are tough in Spring

Nope, that’s wrong.

Myth 2: Less Internship and job opportunities

Nope, that’s not right. Every student stands the same chance to get jobs and internships as Fall semester students.

Myth 3: Less chances to get aid and part-time jobs

Again, that’s not true. Students do graduate and move on and this is the cycle every year. No one stays in school studying for many, many years.

Myth 4: Visas are given on a first-come, first-served basis

If you have the right qualifications, you will get a visa.

Myth 5: Less admissions during Spring semester, so not many courses will be offered

If not many courses will be offered, what about the students who are still in school from Fall semester? The number of students that enroll in Fall is more than that for Spring, so obviously they have to take classes.

The number of students in Spring has nothing to do with the courses offered during the Spring semester in graduate school.

Myth 6: Getting internships will be easier

Generally, more internships will be available in Summer, but considering the technology background, internships will be available throughout the year.

Myth 7: It will be difficult to find a place to stay

Finding a place to stay shouldn’t be any problem. There will be always a place to stay. Many students graduate in Spring or other semesters, so finding an apartment to stay is not a big issue. Usually college students are able to find place to stay within 1-2 weeks upon arrival in the U.S.

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