Life is nothing short of surprises and the constant need to make decisions for yourself. If you’re a high school senior, you are probably in the midst of the swarm of college applications, trying to figure out where to apply and how to do so. While the process is exhausting, the options offered can be confusing.
One example is preferred admissions. Many students need to be aware of this option and what it entails. It helps many students settle on their future plans and have a more stable academic life. This article will dive into the meeting of preferred admission, its importance, requirements, and potential strategies to pursue.
What is Preferred Admission?
So, what does preferred admission mean? In short, it indicates you want to transfer into an upper-level program later on in college. If you apply for a preferred admission plan and get accepted, you will automatically be guaranteed placement in the program you’ve been taken into.
However, you must almost always meet specific prerequisites to remain on track during your first year of college. The requirements will depend on the type of program you have chosen, so they will vary accordingly.
You will often be given the option of choosing preferred admission when applying for colleges during your senior year. On the application, if the college you’re applying to offers it, you will have the option of choosing the preferred admission path.
To further understand the process of this admission type, take Ross Business School of the University of Michigan as an example. Read below to find the details of how preferred admission applies to the University of Michigan:
- When applying for preferred admission to the University of Michigan, you are essentially applying to the three-year programs that begin in your sophomore year.
- Usually, students choose and start applying for these programs during their first year in the university. However, the preferred admission option allows students to select their sophomore program before starting.
- Regardless of the program you enroll in during your first year, accepting your preferred admission application entails automatically transferring to the program you chose.
- This only applies to 3-year programs offered at the University of Michigan. These include the School of Education, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, School of Social Work, College of Pharmacy, School of Information, and School of Business.
Hence, in other words, preferred admission saves you some time. This is an excellent option if you know what program to transfer to after your first year. It guarantees immediate transfer into your desired 3-year program at specific universities as long as you meet their requirements in the first year.
However, remember that preferred admissions might vary from one college to another. For instance, in CCU, Colorado Christian University offers a preferred admissions plan for those who recognize CCU as one of their top choices. It allows them to apply early, possibly receive an exceptional scholarship, and gain access to additional resources.
What are the Requirements and Criteria for Preferred Admissions?
Once again, the criteria and requirements will differ according to the college and the program you are applying to. That said, generally, you must complete some prerequisites in your first year to still be able to join the program you have chosen.
What is the preferred application? Often, it is part of the main application you submit to colleges. It will only be available for specific programs; usually ones you can join only in your sophomore year of college.
Hence, you can easily submit additional information for a preferred application. Instead, the option will be available on the primary application form.
Circling back to the admissions at the University of Michigan, the process focuses on two main objectives:
- You must already be admitted into a first-year-level school or college.
- Your application is evaluated. If it is accepted, then you will be transferred to an upper-level unit. However, if your preferred admission is rejected, you still will be admitted into the University of Michigan in your first-year unit.
Example: University of Michigan
Let’s dive deeper into the requirements and criteria for preferred admissions. Below is an extensive overview of the prerequisites to qualify for one of the upper-unit programs offered by the University of Michigan. The first item in each listed line is the upper-level admitting unit. The colleges after are what qualify you for the program.
- School of Education: College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) or Residential College (LSA)
- College of Pharmacy (sophomore-level admitting unit): LSA or Residential College
- Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning (only for architecture majors): LSA, Residential College, or Art & Design
- School of Information: LSA, Residential College, Art & Design, English, School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, or Kinesiology (Sports Management)
- Ross School of Business: LSA, Residential College, Art & Design, English, School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, or Kinesiology (Sports Management) – for LSA, it is a first-year-enrolling unit but is a sophomore-level admitting unit for others.
The requirements to be considered are not limited to these above. Instead, they often include specific courses, GPA requirements, and a minimum number of credits. This will vary from one institute to the other.
Moreover, Colorado Christian University has a different plan altogether. Their preferred admission plan allows you to qualify for a scholarship. You must apply by sending in your official test scores, transcripts, and recommendation. Then, you must pay the non-refundable deposit of $150.
Importance of Having a Preferred Admission Plan
Preferred Admission plans are available through the Common App. According to the website, there are two types of preferred admission plans, which are listed below.
1. Early Action
The early action option requires you to complete and submit your application earlier than typical. The date is often around the 1st of November, allowing you to receive a final decision somewhere around the end of December.
2. Rolling Admission
For students who have yet to submit applications during the early action round, they have this plan as an option. Rolling admission is when colleges evaluate the applications students send when they are received. It differs from universities that consider applications only after a specific deadline. This gives you more of a margin to submit, and you won’t have to wait for a deadline, as the college will often reply as soon as they have made the decision.
The evaluation process will continue until all the pre-determined slots are taken up for that particular academic year.
However, remember that while this option provides added flexibility, it takes away from your chances. Things tend to get more competitive after the early action deadline.
So, what is the importance of having a preferred admissions plan? First, if you have already decided about the college, you want to pursue after your first year, this eases matters for you. Instead of having to apply in your first year of college, you will have the decision made during your senior year in high school.
Secondly, it could save you both time and money. If your preferred admissions plan gets accepted, you will not have to apply again and spend money on further applications.
5 Preferred Admission Plan Options
We will elaborate on the requirements and preferred admission plan options offered by the University of Michigan. These will give you a general and substantial idea of the application, the prerequisites required, and how to ensure a slot in your desired program.
Remember that for all 5 programs below, you must fill out the Common App and select your preferred school under preferred admission.
1. School of Education
As an undergraduate student, you have two options under the School of Education from UMICH. The first is Undergraduate Elementary Teacher Education, and the second is Undergraduate Secondary Teacher Education. The prerequisites to enroll and further details are below:
- Students usually get admitted into one of those programs during their junior year
- The minimum number of credits that have to be completed at that point is 54 credits
- The programs are 3-year programs
2. College of Pharmacy
With cooperation with the U-M College of LSA, there are several limited seats for preferred admission applicants. Once a student gets accepted into this preferred program, they only have 4 years to complete their prerequisites. These are:
- Satisfactory achievement in each prerequisite course required
- Portraying the desire to successfully and enthusiastically enter the field of pharmacy
- Attain non-academic requirements, some might include patient care service
- All prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of B or higher
3. School of Information
After getting accepted into the university, you must still fulfill some requirements to attain your slot in the School of Information. Below are the criteria conditions:
- Maintain a GPA of a minimum of 3.3
- All prerequisite courses must be successfully based on a minimum grade of B
- As a sophomore, you must have completed at least 54 credits
- Attend at least one BSI information session
4. Taubman College
Taubman College involves architecture and urban planning. The preferred admission path is the Science of Architecture. The admission requirements include the following:
- Completing 55 credits within the first two years at U-M
- Achieving a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Complete all the prerequisite courses
5. Ross School of Business
Ross School of Business is amongst the top 20 MBA programs worldwide. The requirements are:
- Full-time enrollment for the entire first year at U-M
- Successfully completed calculus courses, the econ course, and the writing course with a minimum grade of C
- Complete two business courses
- Your first-year GPA must be at a minimum of 2.5
A preferred campus example includes choosing one of the specific schools mentioned above. You will most likely be on different campuses depending on your preferred admission choice.
How to Know if Your Preferred Admission Get Accepted?
If you are applying to a specific university that offers a preferred admission plan, then getting accepted into the university often entails getting into the program. However, if not, the reply will be similar to a typical application. Hence, your preferred admission status will vary depending on the application you submit to the university.
The ideal method to ensure your college’s policy is to reach out to the school you have enrolled in and ask them all your questions.
Wrapping Things Up: What Does Preferred Admission Mean?
Preferred admission is a means to list your intended program and what you want to pursue in college. As many colleges offer 3-year programs, this option allows you to enroll in a general, 1-year program and then enter a more specialized field according to your preferences.
That said, this is only an option you will notice for some colleges and universities. Some ask you to apply for your intended school from the very first year, while the preferred admissions option allows you to explore your options a little more. Hence, your choices will vary according to the places you’re applying to.