How long does it take for grad schools to generally respond to packets and inform applicants if the admit is given / rejected / wait-listed? Also, let’s say if I have get an admit in 1 particular university, can I request or buy for more time from that university in order to wait for responses from other better universities?
Colleges and universities in the U.S. have 2 types of deadlines:
- Hard Deadline (Specific Date)
- Rolling Admission
To better understand how the entire U.S. school admission process works, you first have to read the following article:
As you can see in that article, a graduate school can deny admission if a student doesn’t meet the minimum requirements set by the school.
If an admission committee is satisfied with a student’s profile, then the application will be forwarded to department for further review.
The department will start reviewing the applications only after a specified deadline (Hard Deadline) had been reached. Until then, the department will collect all the applications and compare the candidates’ profiles and select the best students from that roster.
If the department decides to give you an admission, the following steps happen in order:
- The department gives admission, informs the grad school.
- The grad school then checks if you have enough money (bank statement) to finance your studies
- The bank statement and your admission letter will then be forwarded to the international office (IO) or its equivalent unit
- The IO will issue an I-20 and send it to the grad school
- The grad school then sends your I-20 and admission acceptance letter to you by mail.
Almost all colleges and universities will update the progress of their admission activities through their online portal. Usually, things happen slowly and it will take a while for them to update your status.
If a college or university observes a rolling admission, then it will review an application as it receives one. In such case, it’s always better to apply as early as possible.
It can take anywhere from 2 to 4 months to hear about your admission status. You can call the graduate school to check application status after sometime.
Some colleges and universities in the U.S. will send you admission acceptance letters and ask you to send a deposit before then can send you an I-20.
Typically, these universities are private and/or are small schools. If you decide to attend a different university, the deposit your made is usually non-refundable.
If you receive an I-20, that doesn’t mean you have to attend that school. You can get admission from multiple universities and have multiple I-20s in your hand. There’s no issue here.
You just have to get a student visa from the university of your choice and inform them about it.
Note – Also, it’s always good idea to defer an admission at other universities after you get visa stamping. Can you guess why you have to defer the admission in other universities?