5 Tips to follow when applying to a University or
College in the U.S.A

November, 1 2017 in Getting Started

Back when I was looking for schools in the U.S.A., I did all the research by myself. I wish I had known then what I know now!

In this post, I have written down 5 helpful tips that will serve you as guiding points to completing your goal of studying in the U.S.A.

1. Start your search ahead of time

Depending on your objectives and the type of program you want to attend, it is advisable to start the search process between one and two years before your start date. This is because there are certain institutions with more competitive admissions systems and with many more requirements than others, not to mention the visa processing time.

Similarly, if you are interested in receiving any scholarships or financial assistance, it is important to prepare your student profile with extracurricular activities, and excellent grades and scores of standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT.
If you are only interested in an English course, it is a good idea to start the search process about 9 months before traveling.

2. Have a Variety of Options

While you might have your hopes set on one University, it is important that you also have other universities on your list. The Princeton Review, a great resource for college students, encourages students to classify their university choices using the following criteria:

Reach Schools: One or more that you may not be qualified for, but there is still a possibility of acceptance.
Match Schools: One or more matching your qualifications and most likely your best options.
Safety Schools: One or more you can be reasonably certain that you will be admitted to, but they aren’t your first choice.

If you follow this criteria, you’ll have a variety of choices and you’ll never have to worry about whether or not you made the right choice.

3. Finances

This is key. Perhaps you have already thought a bit about the cost of studying in the U.S.A. However, it is also crucial to sit down and do some extra financial planning.

Some university websites have cost calculators, which help students get a rough idea of how much your semester will cost. In addition, as an international student, you will have to prove that you have enough financial support (from family, sponsors, etc.) to obtain your F-1 student visa.

The International Office at the school should have plenty of information about it, so don’t hesitate to contact them.

4. Timing is everything

After you have narrowed down your choices, it is very important for you to review the application deadlines.

You can find these dates on the university’s website in either the international admissions page or in the International Students Services page.

Keep in mind that some applications require documents that take time to prepare, like personal essays, school transcripts, letters of recommendation, or health records. It’s impossible to get these documents at the last minute, so make sure to schedule your time and prepare.

5. Be detail oriented

Each university has its own admission requirements. Take careful note on each document, and make sure to read the instructions.

Generally, universities require your school transcripts and English proficiency such as TOEFL or IELTS, as well as financial solvency in order to issue your I-20. Other documents they might require are personal essays, ACT/SAT test scores, health records, and recommendation letters. Also, note that any documents not in English will need to be accompanied by an official English translation.

The more detail oriented you are, the less problems or delays you will encounter during your application process.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me at

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