Admission decisions

Once you’ve applied, it’s time to wait for the decisions to be released. There are positive and proactive ways to respond, no matter which decision you receive.

There are three types of decision:

  • Offer of admission
  • Waitlisted
  • Not accepted

Offer of admission

If you are accepted to a university, congratulations! The institution will likely send you information on why you should accept their offer and how to do so.

Within the offer of admission will also be an outline of what financial aid or scholarship funding they will give you.

To respond to their offer, you can:

  • Accept
    • If you need to think about your options, remember to circle back to the factors that are important to you, and pick the university which meets the most of these. If the financial package is unworkable, it's acceptable to politely ask for a reevaluation, although you might need to submit more evidence of financial need. Acceptances in general must be made by 15 April.
  • Decline
    • If you decide not to accept a university offer, let the admissions office know politely and as soon as possible. You might end up applying there for further opportunities, so don’t do anything to tarnish the university’s opinion of you.
  • Defer
    • Gap years are not common in the USA and there are few formal processes to ask for a deferment. If you have to postpone enrolment for a year, ask the admissions office for guidance as soon as possible. If you decide to defer, there is a chance you will have to apply for funding all over again in the next application cycle.


Being put on a wait list means you had strong enough credentials to be considered for admission, but there were more competitive applicants in that admissions round. There is still a chance you will be offered admission.

Students who were offered admission might decline their place, and you will want to be at the front of the queue. To do this, make sure you follow instructions on how to remain on the wait list.

If this is a university you definitely want to attend, let the admissions office know you will enrol if offered a place, and inform them of any significant updates to your application.

Be professional, positive and succinct in your communication.

Not accepted

The best advice is to not take it personally. Remember the admissions committee faces the difficult task of choosing a limited number of students from a very large applicant pool.

If you believe something major was missed or overlooked in your application, do ask about it. Otherwise, respond courteously and thank them for reviewing your application. You might apply to this university for further opportunities.