Novel coronavirus admissions updates

Michigan State University is closely monitoring the the progress of the coronavirus. As a result, MSU has implemented the following changes and accommodations to facilitate the admissions process and protect the health of our students.

Our admissions counselors are here for you and ready to answer any questions you may have. To identify and connect with your admissions counselor, please visit the Office of Admissions counselor contact page.


Prospective students


External tests and exams

Test optional
Freshman applicants for the fall 2021 semester will have the option to apply without submitting an ACT or SAT score. The following exceptions will apply but are subject to change:

IB, AP, A-Level
We will honor the plans set forth by International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), GCE A-level examination boards and other institutions for final documentation of a student's examinations and work. MSU will grant credit, where appropriate, based on the scores we receive from these organizations.

English language tests for international students
Due to cancellations of TOEFL and IELTS tests, MSU will be temporarily accepting the Duolingo English Test, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and the IELTS Indicator tests from applicants affected by these closures who are applying to begin their studies in fall semester 2021. In addition, MSU will be expanding the ability for students to receive provisional admission. If students are able to take a test that meets our regular admission standards prior to enrollment, we will update their admission status to regular.

In-person events

MSU has canceled all in-person admissions events indefinitely. If you're interested in seeing campus, we invite you to check out our visit page, which has some great resources to explore — including virtual campus experiences and our YouTube playlist with video tours and campus highlights.


Fall 2020 admitted students


Plans for spring 2021 semester

While students will continue to primarily learn virtually for the spring 2021 semester, MSU is increasing the number of in-person courses and will have the ability to bring an additional 2,500 students back to the residence halls. The spring semester will start on January 11, 2021, and end on April 23.
  • MSU will offer more in-person classes, with a focus on courses that students need in order to graduate on time.
  • MSU will join most of the other Big Ten universities in canceling spring break in 2021.
  • To provide breaks for students, the spring calendar will include three midweek days without classes, spread throughout the semester.
  • Undergraduate instruction will end on April 23, 2021, and finals week will be held one week earlier than previously scheduled to allow for a week-long period for graduation ceremonies.
  • As part of a COVID-19 testing program, MSU will require participation in the COVID-19 Early Detection Program for students living on campus and undergraduate students coming to campus during the spring semester due to in-person classes, labs, work, etc. Current program participants, faculty, staff and other student populations will also have the opportunity to continue in the program.


Housing

  • If you deferred from fall 2020 to spring 2021 and have not deposited, you must do so by November 2 to be considered for campus housing. If you are not interested in campus housing, your deadline to deposit is November 16.
  • Approximately 2,500 additional single-occupancy residence hall spaces will be available to students who want or need to live on campus.
  • We are still committed to providing a welcoming, secure and successful student experience in our residence halls — please note that there are many health and safety measures that students need to adhere to while on campus. All residential students are held to the MSU Community Compact. This includes wearing a face covering outdoors, as well as indoors when not in your closed room, maintaining physical distancing and practicing good hygiene. Residents are also required to complete the MSU health screening form each day. Additionally, residents will be required to participate in the COVID-19 Early Detection Program.
  • Although we are working to increase our offerings, we are uncertain of the demand at this time and if it will be possible to offer a space to every person who requests one. Our request review criteria will include situations such as housing-related insecurities, needing additional assistance to be academically successful, those with in-person or hybrid courses, and graduate and professional students. Similar to fall semester, we will review each individual student’s situation.
  • The request form will go live in your My Housing account on Monday, November 9, and will close on Monday, November 16. We expect to be able to share approvals by Wednesday, November 25.


Deferring to future semesters

  • We are only offering deferrals for students admitted to fall 2020 or those who deferred to spring 2021 and would now like to defer to summer or fall 2021.
  • If you deferred from fall 2020 to spring 2021, you still have the option to defer again to fall 2021. Please visit your account and update your start term. Students who defer will be considered for new aid packages and are not guaranteed to receive an aid package similar to the one offered for their original start term.
  • Students who deferred to spring 2021 will be treated as first-year students, even if they transfer in coursework from a different institution. 


Financial aid implications

Students who enroll in classes at MSU in fall 2020 and spring 2021:

  • Financial aid packages already offered for fall and spring semesters will not change, regardless of whether the student lives on or off campus and regardless of whether their classes are in-person or online.
  • Students with Federal College Work-Study awards who are living at home may not be able to use this award, but should receive a refund of aid that exceeds tuition. They can then save their work-study funds to use in spring semester if they move to campus.

Students who do not enroll in fall 2020 classes, but do enroll in spring 2021 classes:

  • Financial aid packages will be revised to reflect a spring 2021 enrollment.
  • Financial need will be recalculated to reflect the decrease from two semesters to one semester of aid. This may decrease financial need and therefore reduce financial aid for the student.
  • The student’s financial aid budget will be revised from two semesters to one semester. Federal, Michigan and MSU need-based financial aid, as well as MSU’s non-need-based scholarships, will be awarded in one semester values, which will be approximately half of the original amount.
  • Federal loans will have their loan periods revised to the spring semester dates and will be automatically accepted if the original fall/spring loan was already accepted by the student or parent.
  • Scholarships from organizations outside of MSU will be shifted to pay entirely in spring semester, unless the scholarship provider requires MSU to return part or all of the award to the provider.

Students who do not enroll at MSU in fall 2020 or spring 2021 semesters:

  • Financial aid package for 2020-2021 will be canceled.
  • Scholarships from outside of MSU will be returned to the provider, along with an explanation for the return of funds.
  • Students who defer to fall 2021 will be treated as first-year students if they did not take any coursework during the deferral period and will also be eligible to compete for first-year scholarships. If you did take courses during the deferral period, you will be treated as a transfer student and eligible to compete for transfer scholarships.

Students who enroll at MSU in summer 2021, regardless of their enrollment in fall 2020 and spring 2021:

  • Summer financial aid will only be packaged for students who request it during spring 2021.
  • Federal loans for students will be calculated based on the student’s annual limit, minus what was borrowed in the prior fall and spring semesters.
  • Federal loans for parents who qualify will be available at the full cost of summer attendance, minus any financial aid received by the student during the summer.
  • Federal Pell Grants will be available up to the full semester amount based on the student’s enrollment level (part time vs. full time). The maximum award amount is available only for students enrolled full time during the summer. Lesser enrollment will result in proration of the award amount.
  • The remainder of what was not used in spring and fall semesters of MSU non-need-based scholarships will be awarded for summer for students enrolled full time. The award will be prorated for students who are enrolled part time in the summer.
  • MSU need-based financial aid will be provided based on demonstrated financial need and the available funds.

Transcripts and grades review

School closures will likely make it harder for you to obtain your academic documents this spring. We will not require official, final documents until you arrive in the fall.

We also know that virtual schooling could influence your GPA. To confirm your admission, we will use your final academic information during our senior grade review and have flexibility with courses that do not have traditional letter grades.


Transferring credit

You can receive transfer credit (meaning the university will accept the course) for courses taken during the spring term of 2020 at another institution if there is a grade of S in a S/NS grade system, or a minimum of a 1.0 GPA if the transfer course uses a numerical grading system.

External tests and exams

IB, AP, A-Level
We will honor the plans set forth by International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), GCE A-level examination boards and other institutions for final documentation of a student's examinations and work. MSU will grant credit, where appropriate, based on the scores we receive from these organizations.

English language tests for international students
Due to cancellations of TOEFL and IELTS tests, MSU will be temporarily accepting the Duolingo English Test, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and the IELTS Indicator tests from applicants affected by these closures who are applying to begin their studies in fall semester 2021. If students are able to take a test that meets our regular admission standards prior to enrollment, we will update their admission status to regular.

Please visit the Office of Admissions counselor contact page to connect with your counselor.