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Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


29 Mar 2018 46.2K Book icon 2 mins Share

What is a Conditional and Unconditional Offer Letter?

International students planning for a degree abroad should be aware of the types of offer letters that they usually receive from universities

29 Mar 2018 46.2K Book icon 2 mins Share
Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


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what is conditional and unconditional offer letter

Highlights of the article:

Once you are done with filing your applications to a university or college abroad, you await to get the big ‘yes’ or dull ‘no’ from the institute abroad. They send you a letter of acceptance or offer letter if they like your profile.

There are two types of offers that most institutes abroad place before students – conditional and unconditional offer letters. It’s important for you to know the differences between the two.

Difference between conditional and unconditional offer letters

Conditional offers, as the name implies, come ‘with’ conditions. When you are offered a ‘conditional’ offer, it means that you need to fulfil certain criteria, in terms of marks and academic requirements, to get admissions at the University.

Universities have very clear guidelines regarding their pre-requisites for students while applying for any programme. When a university sends over a conditional offer letter to you, it means you will be granted admissions provided you achieve the academic requirements laid down by the university:

  1. The university can ask for an academic percentage of 70 and above.
  2. The university can also ask for a specific grade in IELTS or TOEFL test or a specific score in GRE exam.

A conditional offer letter is also known as ‘restrictive offer letter’.

In certain instances, due to the lack of time, students might not be able to provide all details to the admissions committee. In such cases, the committee confirms their interest in the student based on a condition that all formalities must be completed in 2 to 3 months.

An unconditional offer letter is like a final acceptance letter. It signifies that a student has been accepted by the University, since the student met the academic requirements. An unconditional offer letter may change from institute to institute. Some institutes might ask you furnish certain important medical documents, after you receive the offer. Also, with an unconditional offer, you can avail an education loan from any bank.

One point to note here is even though you take up any exams after receiving an unconditional offer, the scores in the exam won’t be factored in.

The student is requested to make a small confirmation payment to the University. The confirmation deposit made by the student is not the tuition fee for the year. All payments can be made through wire transfers and credit cards. 


There could be a slight variation in rules that you may notice. A conditional offer can affect your visa approval. Different countries have different policies. If the conditional offer letter comes with formalities that should be completed after entering the University, then the visa procedure will be completed, but if it comes with formalities that have to be completed before the student leaves his/her home country, then the visa procedure will be delayed.

Therefore, when you receive your offer letter, or even before that, make sure you know which one is the best fit for your career. And ensure you complete all formalities and don’t wait to get anything done at the last moment. 

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