Application Process for US colleges and universities

Every year thousands of students worldwide apply for US universities, and getting admission into top rated US Universities is highly competitive.

However, if you follow a certain strategy, and of course have a good GPA and good scores in your admission exams , chances are you will land up in your first choice University.

In the following section we talk about the process of selecting and applying for admission to US Colleges / Universities:

Tips for selecting and applying to US Universities

Related Links

  Search for College/ Uni
  Admission Requirements
  Application Process
  Application Deadlines
  Application Time Table

FAQ's

How many Universities / Colleges should I apply for?

Other than ranking, what other factors should be considered in selecting the Universities?

What are the factors that Colleges / Universities consider in granting admissions and scholarships to international applicants?

What is the difference between a College and a University?

What is the difference between public and private College / University?

I just graduated from high school in my home country. Should I go directly to a University or to a College in the US?

Tips for selecting and applying to US Universities

  1. The keys to your success are research and patience. Spend enough time on researching for potential universities that you would like to attend. It is important to be patience too since researching on so many options could be exhausting.


  2. Determine your intended field of study: You should also spend enough time in determining your intended field of study in the US. Your field of study definitely depends on your interest or what career you want to pursue in the future.
    Additionally, since some courses may have similar names with others, it is also important to know each course’s objectives and subjects taught in each course to find the difference between them. For example, Computer Science and Computer Applications, or Media Studies and Media Affairs are different fields.
    In some cases, different universities use different name for their courses, but they are actually the same course.

  3. Determine your level of education: The level of education can be categorized as undergraduate, graduate, or PhD programs. Obviously if you are a high school graduate, your option is limited only for undergraduate program. Some Universities have joint undergraduate and graduate programs. Some also have joint graduate and PhD programs.

  4. Do a thorough research for Colleges / Universities that provide education in your field of study. The College Finder section will help you to find the University of your choice.

  5. Find out the minimum requirement of TOEFL / GRE / GMAT / SAT scores of the Colleges / Universities of your choice.

  6. Check with the College / University authorities or with the current students about the chances of getting scholarships / assistantships.

  7. Check out the tuition & fee for the colleges or universities of your choice. Newly admitted international students normally have to pay an out-of-state tuition, which is also called as non-resident tuition. For more info, please check out the Cost of Education in the US section.

  8. Find out the the location of the College / University and the average cost of living in that area. Make sure that you will be able to afford the cost of living in that area.

  9. Short list a few (6 to 8) Colleges / Universities that you would like to attend and with whose admission criteria, your profile matches.

  10. Apply to at least 4 or 5 Colleges / Universities before the application deadline. Check out our Admission Requirements, Application Packet and When to Apply sections for more detailed information.

Back

How many Universities / Colleges should I apply for?

We suggest that you apply for at least four or five Colleges / Universities. Each College / University has its own admission criteria, and some might accept while others might decline your admission.

When you apply to four or five Colleges / Universities, there are higher chances that you will get admitted in at least one or two of them. Besides, it is always good to have a back-up university. It will also save you a lot of time just in case you don’t get admitted in your first choice University.

When you select the Universities, compare your profile with the College / University's admission requirements (i.e., average GPA, average TOEFL / SAT / GMAT/ GRE scores, etc). We suggest that you should apply to universities, whose requirements roughly match with your profile. This will increase your chances of getting admitted. As a rule of thumb, you can apply to two above average (ranking and admission requirements wise) Universities, two average Universities and one below average University. If you are lucky, you may get admitted in all of the Universities and you can choose to go to the best colleges / universtities or to the one that you like the most.

Back

Other than ranking, what other factors should be considered in selecting the Universities?

Ranking of a College / University is an important factor while selecting a University. The ranking allows you to filter out Universities. Rankings are determined by agencies who base their criteria on various factors such as the quality of education, performance of the professors, quality of the students, research, patents issued, publications, etc.

However, we suggest that, you should not base the selection only on the ranking of the College / University. Ranking is important, but should not be the only criteria. Other equally important factors that international students should consider are:

Cost of Tuition: You should make sure that you will be able to pay the tuition costs of your college / university. Some US Universities and Colleges charge more tuition than others. For example, most private Universities and Colleges charge higher tuition compared to public Universities. Public Universities receive grants from the US as well as the state governments and hence they subsidize the education.

Chances of getting scholarships / assistantships: Though most US colleges and universities award scholarships and assistantships, it is not guaranteed that you will get one. These awards depend on various factors such as your program, your GRE / GMAT / TOEFL scores, your GPA and also on the number of students applying to that scholarship / assistantship.

Cost of Living: You should be able to afford the cost of living in your area. As a student, you will have to pay the rent of your room, pay for food, as well as pay for books, clothes and may other things. In the US, the cost of living depends on your location. For example, cost of living in big cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., is higher as compared to that of smaller cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Omaha, etc. The cost of living also depends on the state. For example, cost of living in the state of California is generally higher as compared to that of Texas.

Weather: Compared to the above factors, this factor is relatively less important. You should check out the weather of the area of your intended college / university. In the US you can experience all kinds of weather - from extreme cold (sates like Michigan, Minnesota) to extreme heat (states like Texas, Arizona) to extreme rain (Washington state). So if your body can't adjust to the extreme weather, find a College / University that has mild weather patterns. You can check the weather pattern for a particular state in the US Climate section.

Back

What are the factors that Colleges / Universities consider in granting admissions and scholarships to international applicants?

Most US Colleges / Universities consider the following factors in granting admissions and scholarships to international applicants:

  • GPA
  • TOEFL / GRE / GMAT scores
  • Recommendation Letter
  • Special interest: sport, minority, academic program, etc

You can visit our scholarship section for more detailed information on this topic.

Back

I just graduated from high school in my home country. Should I go directly to a University or to a
College in the US?

If you are a high school graduate, remember that it is always a good idea to go first to a College, and then after a few semesters, transfer to a University. You will be able to be transfer most of the credits that you have taken in the College to the University. In the College, you can adapt to the US life as well as improve your English. Secondly, College tuition is usually much less compared to the University tuition, especially if you enroll in a community College. Last but not the least, the requirements to enter a College are normally easier compared to that of a University.

Back


      © 2006 - 2010 GlobalStudentGuide.com    Any unauthorised reproduction in any form without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.