Admitted and enrolled are two very related, but different concepts. These two concepts are easily confused with each other because they both describe an individual’s status in an institution (typically a university). Admittance is the prerogative of an institution, while enrollment is the job of the students. In this article, I will attempt to clarify the meaning and differences between these two words using their denotative meaning in an academic setting.
Difference Between Admitted and Enrolled
In the context of this argument, the Merriam-Webster dictionary, defines admittance as “the right or permission to enter a place”. This implies that the individual must have met all the requirements of the institution and have been deemed qualified to be accepted into that institution. For example, if the admissions requirement of a university includes a high school diploma and an entrance examination, then students would only be admitted into the school if they meet these necessary requirements. This insinuates that the institution is solely responsible for determining the standard of admittance.
To be enrolled on the other hand means “to become a member or participant”. After one has successfully been admitted into an institution, he/she is then entitled to enroll in courses that they are eligible to take. From this example of a university’s admission and enrollment process, we can see that being ‘admitted’ is the first step that one must take in order to be able to ‘enroll’ for specific courses. This would mean that the students would be responsible for enrolling in classes at their own discretion.
In summary, to be admitted means to have signed up for an academic program (degree), while to be enrolled means to be registered in specific courses that would count towards the completion of the degree program. Conventionally, a person can be admitted into a school, but may not be enrolled in any course in a specific semester. Such a person would still have their status as being admitted as a student of the school, but they would ultimately need to enroll for and complete all the required courses to be considered a candidate for graduation from the school. For example, if the University of Canada requires a student to successfully complete 40 specified classes in order to attain a degree in Chemistry, then the student would first need to meet the general requirements for admissions into the degree-program, then subsequently enroll and satisfactorily complete each and every one of the 40 courses. In essence, a person must be admitted into a university before they are able to enroll in classes at that university. The order is inherently irreversible.
Written By: Gloria