How can I say that 'Before the next start of the academic year.'. Is 'next' a good word to use? Basically, if it's January at the moment of writing and I want to say when the next year of school starts.

Does the 'academic year' means when the college/school/university starts their lessons, after the holiday, usually September/30 August? If you could clarify that, I would be really grateful.

P.S. I'm writing a formal letter to a college

  • Can I say: 'Thirty minutes away by foot'? How to write this sentence properly?
    – Saras
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


You can indeed say "before the next start of the academic year" and be perfectly understood to refer to the start of classes at the end of summertime.

It is more common (idiomatic) to write "before the start of the next academic year". That is what you will see in print: Google Ngram Viewer

To be absolutely sure of no misunderstanding, you could of course refer to a particular date, or a generality such as "fall of 2012".

  • I also agree with "before the start of the next academic year" as being more commonly used.
    – tcrosley
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 23:16
  • @MetaEd Thank you. One more small question, can I use: 'Thirty minutes away by foot'? Or how should I write this sentence properly? I want to say that: 'I will be living less than thirty minutes away, by bicycle or by (foot/walking), from the college'?
    – Saras
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 23:27
  • @tcrosley Thank you for clarifying, could you help me out with the question I have posted above, because I would like to send it to the college. Thanks again.
    – Saras
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 23:57
  • 2
    For this site to be useful to everyone, please post a new question.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 0:06

I think it is correct to write as: "Before the start of next academic year". But may be if the college or university admits students twice a year you may write: "Before the start of oncoming academic sessions" or more unambiguously "Before the start of academic sessions starting XXXXX". Very often academic year means from August - May of next calendar year. And if you are a student admitted in the academic year say: February - November, it can lead to confusion. Generally academic year is not a full 12-month year. It will end once the exams are over and before the start of the vacation. In India students are admitted only once a year, starting August. But in US universities they also admit students in Spring sessions. Hence the suggestion.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.