So, your high school grad has decided they want to start college in the spring semester. It’s not your typical college kickoff, but every student is unique!
There are several good reasons why your child might choose to embark on their college experience in the middle of the academic year. But, as a parent, you’re bound to have some questions and concerns. Read on to learn how starting college or transferring colleges in the spring might affect your young adult.
FAQs About Starting College in Spring
Before we dive into the various advantages and challenges of starting college in the spring semester, let’s address some frequently asked questions:
Can You Start College in the Spring?
If you haven’t heard of spring enrollment before, don’t sweat it — it’s real! However, it’s important to note that not all colleges or universities may allow spring admissions and the availability of programs and majors might differ between fall and spring intakes. But for institutions that do offer spring admissions, enrolling mid-year can present several advantages and opportunities, as we’ll cover in a bit.
Can You Transfer Colleges Mid-Year?
In many cases, transferring colleges mid-year is possible, but it’s often more complex than transferring between academic years. Not all colleges have mid-year admissions or accept transfers in the middle of an academic year. Some colleges may have limited spots for mid-year transfer students, and certain programs or majors might not offer mid-year admission. Often, a specific number of credit hours must also be completed before students are eligible to transfer colleges.
So, while your student may be able to transfer mid-year, they’ll want to check in with their academic advisor and thoroughly research the policies of both their current and prospective colleges before taking that leap.
With those questions out of the way, let’s dive into what you should know if your student plans to start college in the spring!
1. Starting College in January Gives Your Kid a Well-Deserved Break
Starting college in the spring semester might not be the most conventional path, but it certainly has its perks. Mainly, it gives your high school graduate a bit of extra time to relax and recharge after the stressful college application process. During this time, they could work to save money, travel to gain life experience, or simply relax. Think of a gap semester as a well-deserved break before diving headfirst into four years of academic work. Plus, they’ll have time to gather the college essentials before heading off in the spring!
2. It Can Provide a More Personal Start
In 2021–2022, nearly 25 million students enrolled in postsecondary institutions, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Out of those students, only about six million enrolled during the spring semester. This smaller influx of new students during spring translates to a less populated orientation. So, if your child is looking for a more personal introduction to their college, enrolling in the spring could be the way to go.
3. Your Kid Will Still Make Friends
Since fewer students enroll in the spring, many friend groups may have already been established during the fall semester. You might be concerned that your child might have difficulty making new friends. Don’t worry too much, though — a smaller orientation size can result in faster, deeper bonds with their peers. Plus, starting in the spring might even give your kid a chance to stand out as a fresh face in the crowd.
Ultimately, it’s not about when your student starts but how they make the most of their college experience. Encourage them to participate in campus clubs, activities, and social events. If they take the initiative, they’ll find like-minded individuals quickly.
4. They May Have to Take a Higher Courseload to Graduate on Time
In many cases, your student’s graduation timeline won’t be affected if they start in the spring semester. Many higher learning institutions offer spring graduations, so if your child doesn’t mind walking with a potentially smaller class, there’s no need to worry.
However, some colleges and universities only offer graduation at the end of the fall semester. If that’s the case at your student’s institution, they may need to take a summer semester and/or take heavier courseloads for a few semesters to graduate with their peers.
Ultimately, a quick check-in with their academic counselor can put your student at ease and solidify their track to academic success.
5. They May Have to Live Off-Campus
Whether your kid is starting college in the spring or transferring colleges mid-year, housing is important to consider. Many on-campus dorms may already be at maximum capacity by the spring semester, so your student might have to find off-campus living arrangements. And if that’s the case, their space will likely need to be furnished.
You probably don’t want to invest in furniture that your student may only need for a semester or two, though — or have to find a home for when they’re done with it! So, here’s our advice for parents of college students who are starting in the spring semester: rent their furniture!
CORT’s Carol Santoro explains: “[Renting] is so much easier than having to go out, rent a U-Haul or dig through Goodwill, or your uncle’s basement for a sofa that you don’t even know where it’s coming from.” Hear more below:
6. Take the Stress out of Spring Semester Furnishing with CORT Furniture Rental
Parenting a student going away to college journey in January? There’s a lot to consider, from classes to orientation to finding housing. While you may not be able to take their tests for them or introduce them to their new best friend, you can help them set the stage for success by creating a comfortable and focused living space.
Renting furniture through CORT can help them in their new life stage. With customizable top-to-bottom student packages for off-campus housing, CORT Furniture Rental has everything your child needs to hit the ground running in January. And CORT doesn’t just offer primary furniture pieces like sofas and beds – though we do have that! We also offer all of the necessary housewares that make an apartment feel like home: cookware packages, vacuums, and even linens! Get started building the package that fits their needs online or in-store at your local CORT showroom today.