TOEFL® Scores and Conditional Acceptance
TOEFL is not an easy test and sometimes it is difficult to get the required TOEFL score your program demands. The good news is that full acceptance without a qualified TOEFL score is possibile with Conditional Acceptance.
What to Expect with a Conditional Acceptance?
More and more American universities now offer conditional acceptance to international students. Conditional acceptance means even though students are accepted to the universities, they are required to take additional courses in academic English besides their official course load at school. After completing the additional English course or if their English has improved enough, they will be given an opportunity to retake the TOEFL or another form of English certifications. If they get the qualified score required by the university or they prove to the university their English is good enough, they will be fully accepted into the degree program and will no longer be required to attend the additional English course.
Do all Universities Offer Conditional Acceptance?
Not all universities accept students with low TOEFL scores on a conditional basis. Conditional acceptance is more common at smaller public universities. For example The University of Wisconsin-River Falls conditionally accepts students with TOEFL iBT scores as low as 45. Florida State University does not have a specifically required score for conditionally accepted students, but they require conditionally accepted students to take TOEFL prep courses at their Center for Intensive English Studies. These small town universities are very welcoming with all types of students.
What about Top Universities?
If you prefer top universities and you do not have a good enough TOEFL score, there is still hope; Some top American Universities have started to conditionally accept students with lower than required TOEFL scores. For example Boston University conditionally accepts all students that can speak, understand, write, and read simple English sentences. It is an opening policy for a big and prestigious university like Boston University. Conditionally accepted students to Boston University are required to take English classes in their Center for English Language and Orientation programs (CELOP). After you improve your English, retake the TOEFL, and get the necessary score, you will be fully accepted to your degree program. The University of San Francisco conditionally accepts students with TOEFL scores as low as 60 and they can start their major classes immediately, though only part time because they are required to take extra English classes on the side together with the classes in their major.
More and more American universities are offering conditional acceptance to international students. If you are looking to study at a university in the US, be sure to check the TOEFL score requirements for both the conditional acceptance and the regular official requirements. In the case you do not meet the official TOEFL score, you can still choose to take the TOEFL again on your own or join the university on a conditional acceptance basis.