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What if I Don’t Gain Admittance to my First-Choice University?

International Student Loan

What if I Don’t Gain Admittance to my First-Choice University?

For many international students, coming to the United States to receive a higher education is a daunting thought by itself, but on top of that, many international students have to deal with the reality of not being accepted into the US University of their choice. This can be discouraging for many, but it is important to know that there are other options available. Just because you do not get accepted into one American university does not mean that you will not be accepted into one of the many others!

Have a Backup Plan

Before an international student even starts the admission process to a US university, we suggest having a backup plan in place. Everyone wants to study at a top US university, so in turn, those admission committees have to turn down a number of qualified students. This is why it is important to also apply to backup schools, or schools that you know you have a high chance of being accepted to, as well as applying to reach schools. So, if by chance, you do not get admitted into one of your top choice American universities, you will have a backup plan in place. these are also known as “safe schools” – add a line about this/reference this in this paragraph. Students will pick ambitious and safe schools.

Don’t be Afraid of a Waitlist

Oftentimes, because of space and/or funding limits, universities have to turn down admissions for students that are more than qualified. However, instead of turning them down completely, some universities may place those students on a waitlist. A waitlist is by no means a bad sign. If a student who has been granted into a top US University decides that they no longer want to attend that university, the university will then go to the waitlist and give a waitlisted student that acceptance. Being placed on the waitlist does not guarantee acceptance by any means, but it still means that there is a chance.

Consider Waiting a Semester

As you can imagine, most US universities see the majority of their applications for students wishing to be admitted into the fall class. More applications mean more competition and more deferrals. However, your chances may be improved by applying for acceptance into the spring semester. Schools typically receive less applications at this time, so your competition may be lessened. Also, some schools may, instead of placing you on a waitlist, offer you acceptance but starting a semester later. Unlike being placed on a waitlist, with this contingency, your acceptance is guaranteed – your start time is simply delayed a few months.

Consider Taking a Year Off


Taking a year off in between programs is growing increasingly common. It even has its own name: many refer to it as a gap year. A lot of American and international students take gap years between high school and university, and even university and higher education programs (I took one myself between graduating from Indiana University and going to law school). It can be a great time for an international student to grow, build their applications, and decide what next step will be best for them and their future.

If you did not get accepted into a US university and then decide to take a gap year, you should strongly consider reapplying to that US university after your gap year. Depending on what you spent that year doing, it can be a positive sign to the university’s admission committee. They will be looking for signs of growth, maturity, and focus based on what you did during the past year.


Another option for international students if they did not get into their top US University is to transfer. You can spend time at another US university or even a community or junior college to build your transcript and then reapply to your top US University. Another option can be building your transcript in your home country, and then reapplying once you have built your transcript. Some community colleges have transfer programs that allow you to transfer to 4-year universities after a year or two of study at the community college.

Please keep in mind that these are not the only options available to international students if they do not receive acceptance into their top choice US University. These are simply some suggestions that we have. The most important piece of advice we can give you is to not get discouraged. No matter what, there are other options available. Have confidence in yourself and great things will come!

If you’d like help with the admissions process please email us at:


International Student Loan

Understanding the application requirements and admission requirements for international students can be tough, but getting an international student loan can be even tougher. In addition to admissions help, Nomad Credit is happy to help you navigate the difficult process and help you find the potential loan options available to you.

Nomad Credit can help you find your funding options. Please visit us at to search for your student loan (also known as education loan) options  Please don’t hesitate to email us at if you have any questions.


John Romanucci

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