College applications are stressful! Anyone who has been through the process will tell you that it takes a lot of hard work and determination. But what if all that hard work gets you a provisional acceptance to the school of your dreams? What does that mean? In this article, we’ll discuss what it means to be provisionally accepted and offer you our best tips for turning your provisional acceptance into a full acceptance.
What Does Provisionally Accepted Mean for College?
If you have heard back from a college you applied to and received a provisional acceptance; you may be feeling slightly confused. While the most common responses to college applications are “admitted” and “declined admission,” a handful of students every year are provisionally accepted. Although it might not seem to be as exciting as being accepted outright, it is still a good thing.
Once you receive your provisional acceptance letter, you are considered to be provisionally accepted to that college. This means that the school accepts you so long as a criterion or requirement is met by the end of the school year. Typically this means that you are accepted as long as you can maintain or complete an academic task.
The specifications of a provisional admission depend entirely on your circumstances and what the school you are applying to chooses to do. This could be like maintaining a certain GPA or continuing enrollment in your current institution. The school could also provisionally accept you if you complete a course during the spring semester or continue engagement in a club or sport.
Why Do Some Schools Offer Provisional Admission?
Figuring out why some schools offer provisional admission can be a little complicated. First, let’s establish that although most admission offers are not explicitly stated to be provisional, students are not typically fully admitted until after the college receives their final high school grades or diploma. In most cases, there is a fine print somewhere on your acceptance letter that states that the college has the right to rescind your admission offer should something significant change between the date of acceptance and when you start at the college.
Most colleges will ultimately offer provisional acceptances if they think the situation calls for it. The school might think that a student would be a fantastic addition to a program that they offer, but they just need a little more proof from the student that they are truly ready for the academic rigors of the college.
Although colleges may be more or less likely to give out provisional admission based on a number of criteria, such as acceptance rate and the number of applicants, most schools reserve the right to offer provisional acceptances if they see fit. Handing out provisional acceptance certificates is not something most schools take lightly, as it can be seen as a gamble.
Is it Good to Be Provisionally Accepted?
Being provisionally accepted is a great thing for many students! Although some students may see a provisional acceptance as not nearly as good as a regular acceptance, schools often give out provisional acceptances for reasons beyond your control. For example, if your high school doesn’t let you take a particular class until your senior year, but the college you are applying to requires that course, a provisional acceptance is the best way for that college to still offer you admission.
Don’t get too upset if you get a provisional acceptance. A provisional acceptance usually comes with relatively easy-to-meet requirements, meaning that most of the time, your provisional acceptance will be turned into a fully-fledged acceptance in no time at all.
Remember that getting into college is something that takes a lot of work. Think of a provisional acceptance as simply more of that work. While it might be hard to be super happy, especially if you don’t know anyone else who got a provisional acceptance letter, just know that you are not alone. Lots of students all across the country get provisional acceptance letters and most of those turn into complete acceptances.
How is Provisional Different from Conditional Acceptance?
Despite the fact that the words conditional and provisional are very similar in meaning, there are some key differences between being conditionally accepted and provisionally accepted.
Finding out that your application is provisionally accepted is not something you plan to have happen, but it also is something that will be gone by the time you start school. Being provisionally accepted means that there is something about your application that they need more information on, or they need you to complete some prerequisite before they give you your final acceptance certificate. Once you complete whatever they have asked you to complete, you will be considered fully accepted.
Most schools use conditionally accepted to describe students who they want in their program for some reason. Still, those students will be completing the final aspect of their application at college. In a conditionally accepted case, you are not likely to be eligible for scholarships from the school. You can be considered conditionally accepted all the way through your freshman year. If, however, you are conditionally accepted, it is a much longer process.
If you need one foreign language class to attend the university but cannot take one, the college may conditionally accept you. An example of conditional acceptance will be if your high school or local area does not offer a specific prerequisite for that college. The conditional acceptance would be in place until you complete your first foreign language class during your first semester or quarter at college.
How to Make Your Provisional Admission Permanent? 5 Tips
Getting provisionally accepted can still be a straight shot to college if you meet the criteria that the school sets out for you. The things they ask you to do could be as simple as keeping your grades up, or it could be taking a different course in the spring semester. Whatever they ask you to do, these are our top tips to help you make it happen:
1. Create a written plan
It doesn’t matter what they have asked you to do in order to become fully accepted. The first thing you should do is create a written plan of how you will accomplish this goal. The plan might take the form of a study guide or simply a calendar to help keep you organized throughout the remainder of your senior year.
Taking time in the beginning to create a plan will help save you a lot of stress later on down the line. A written and organized plan makes you way more likely to complete your work within the timeframe you set for yourself. A clear plan will also help ensure you don’t miss any deadlines and jeopardize your provisional acceptance.
2. Have someone to hold you accountable
Finding someone to help hold you accountable and make sure you stick to the plan you have created is key to your success. Although some people might have the motivation to keep themselves on track, it is always better to have a backup plan in case you get too stressed or overwhelmed and start to forget things.
The person you pick to hold you accountable could be a family member, a friend, or even a teacher. All that person needs to do is meet with you or check in with you at a regular time interval that you both agree on. By the time these meetings or check-ins occur, you should have made a good amount of progress since the last meeting, thus helping to keep you on track and focused.
3. Make sure your space sets you up for success.
Creating a space in your home that will allow you to succeed is a great starting point. If the area you plan on working in is cluttered and missing vital supplies, you will be much less likely to sit down and do the work you need to do. Starting off with the right set-up is always easier than trying to fix it later, so take some time to prepare the space when you receive your provisional acceptance.
Preparing your space could be as simple as clearing off a dedicated workspace for you to use. You might need to gather supplies and materials that you may need, such as paper, pens, and pencils, and keep them in a container near your new space. If you need to use your computer, make sure you think about how you will charge your computer while you are working. All this planning will help minimize your stress later on.
4. Save proof of everything.
You will need to prove to the university that offered you provisional acceptance that you have completed everything they have asked of you. The best way to go about doing this is to save proof of everything. Make sure you save any transcripts, registration receipts, or other documentation you are given.
If you are unable to prove that you met the criteria listed on your provisional acceptance, they won’t be able to turn your admission offer into a full acceptance. Making sure you keep good records is essential to getting your college provisional certificate into an actual admission offer.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask the admissions office any questions.
If you have any questions or concerns at all, don’t hesitate to ask your college admission officer. The department that sent you the provisional acceptance is the same department that will determine that you have completed all the necessary steps to gain full acceptance.
When you first receive your provisional acceptance, make sure you read over everything they sent you. Pay close attention to the details surrounding what is being asked of you, how long you have to complete it, and how to prove that you are done once you have completed everything.
This would be the best time to let your admissions team know if there is anything that will be hard for you. For example, if you don’t graduate until June 4th, but they want your final grades by May 31st, reach out to your admissions team as soon as you get the letter to make sure you can get your provisional acceptance turned into a full acceptance.
Wrapping Things Up: Provisionally Accepted? Here’s What It Means
Now that you know all about provisional acceptances, you should understand that they aren’t as scary as people think. Make sure that if you are provisionally accepted, you clear up any confusion about your acceptance right away and set to work completing the requirements before you so that you can earn your full acceptance. It will take some work, but we know that you can turn your provisional acceptance into a full college acceptance with the right tools to support you!