Masters abroad: preps and steps

Conditional Admission from University

Kashyap Matani

For over 6 months we have grown from the decision of going for further studies in a new country, to deciding the country of choice, the course, a career and basically a future. Some may have even been planning it for well over a year.

Then comes all the hard work one can put in it, entrance exams, transcripts, work experience certificates, Letters of recommendation and digging out past certifications from the ruins of our cupboards. The applications are put in place and with apprehension we send them through. So once all the paperwork is done and we play the game of waiting and anticipation grows! Besides biting our nails and depression binging or starving, many doubts and questions start snaking their way into our heads. What if, when, how, who? One of the few top questions comes when response letters from universities start flowing into our homes, sans the owls of course. 
What is a Conditional Admission Letter??

First of all, congratulations! You have convinced the admissions office about your capability and conviction towards your future education. You have proven through your past records and your recommendation letters that you are worthy of getting that seat in the class that you have been so badly dreaming of! However, they expect a little bit more from you. The conditions can be of various reasons.

Lets discuss what these could be…

  1. One of the top conditions is a successful passing from your current year of study. Some students decide to apply for their next step of education while currently pursuing the last year or semester of their current highest education.

For example – You may have applied for a Bachelor’s program during your HSC or applied for a Master’s course during your last year of bachelor’s. So although you have given the mark sheets of all the exams you have attended previously, the university wants to be sure that they give you the course only if you

  • Successfully complete the course i.e. pass it or
  • Have a particular percentage, GPA or Grade that they are expecting from all their students from the class.
  1. Most universities in the USA, UK and Europe might ask for a minimum proficiency in the English language. If you have not submitted your IELTS/TOFEL scorecard in advance, they might ask you for it to be sent as a part of your application. Alternatively, your current score in these exams may not be satisfactory and the university might give you another chance at it by asking you to attempt it once again and get the minimum required score.

Some universities might also ask you to attend a pre-sessional English language course of a short duration. Please note that these courses are charged and not a part your tuition fees.

  1. In situations where the university is not convinced of your past syllabus in the Bachelor’s program being directly connected to your Master’s program of choice, or that you may lack certain qualification or understanding of certain core aspects as may be needed for you course of choice, they may add in a condition to undertake a pre-masters course of a certain duration. This course is meant to bridge the gap between your current knowledge and the expected minimum from their student. Again, the fees for this are not a part of the course fees.
  2. Some universities may put up a simple condition of Payment of a part of the fees of generally the first year of the course or may ask for a Deposit payment to confirm your seat. This means that you have been given the admission (Hurray!) but the university wants to be sure that you are really looking forward to join them and not just keeping them as an option. This helps them to filter out the genuine applications of aspiring students from the others.

So… Now you see, a conditional offer letter is not the end of it, in fact already a new beginning! You have set foot and are halfway through, now it’s time to rid of your present hurdles and go for it! The choice is yours to make, they have made a decision for you it is up to you now, to learn how to tackle it.
Once you have fulfilled all these conditions when put to you, your conditional changes to an unconditional offer letter and then you go on to study your course in the country of your dreams as a part of your future brimming with opportunities!!

Anagha Bailur
Counselor at ISSC

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