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Application Process Guide for Students Planning to Study in US

Students often underestimate the amount of time required to apply for admission in US. A proper schedule can prove to be a great help for them.

Choosing the University

Choosing a university from overseas is a very difficult task. There are over 4,000 U.S. universities, and they all offer a wide variety of courses. The following information is important when choosing a university:
Academic Importance: We suggest students to choose a university that offers a degree in the field of study that they wish to pursue.
Course Emphasis: Some universities offer a fixed course curriculum while some offer independent study, which allows students to choose their own subjects. Go through the course catalogue and course descriptions to gain a clear understanding of the types of courses offered.
Accreditation: In the U.S., accreditation is used to assure quality in educational institutions and programs. Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process of peer review. It requires an educational institution or program to meet certain defined standards or criteria. We would like you to ensure that you choose to attend an accredited university.
Cost Factor: Study the fee structure printed in most university prospectuses carefully and estimate the cost of living, insurance, and other expenses.
Type of University: U.S. universities are either private or state-supported. In general, the tuition fees at state-supported universities are less expensive than private universities. International students are charged “out-of-state” tuition rates, which are higher than in-state rates but still much less than most private universities.
Financial Aid: Getting Financial Aid from the university can lower the tuition rate. Check with the present students of the school or the school officials about the possibility of scholarships, loans, and assistantships.
On-campus Jobs: Most of the universities in the U.S. allow international students to work up to 20 hours per week, which can help to cover monthly living expenses. Typically on-campus jobs are awarded through the university’s Financial Aid Office.

The Application Process

When setting your timetable, always remember that doing things early is the best way forward. You need to allow yourself sufficient time to thoroughly research the institution and/or program that will best serve your academic and professional goals.

The need for an early start holds true even if you are able to access electronic applications on the Internet. University websites and other academic Internet sites may provide quick and convenient access to the required application forms, but you still need time to research your options, contact teachers and institutions to provide recommendations and transcripts, and sign up for required entrance exams in time to meet application deadlines.

Each university will set their own application deadlines, as well as admissions requirements, so it is best to consult their websites for details. Fortunately, most applications will follow a similar format that you will allow you to re-use or adapt some of the materials that you prepare for each application.

The application timeline will help you plan out your 18 months leading up to studying in the USA.

18 months before study:
Research your colleges and universities programs options
Register and prepare for required entrance exams

12-14 months before study:
Choose the schools to which you will apply
Obtain all necessary information and forms for each school
Appear for required entrance exams

10-12 months before study:
Request any forms and information again, if necessary
Identify your references and supply them with required reference forms
Request transcripts from your school/s
Write your application essay (personal statement)
Retake entrance exams if scores were unsatisfactory

10 months before study:
Complete and mail applications
Electronic applications – an additional note

3 months before study:
Apply for your student visa
Research health insurance options for your time abroad
Make travel arrangements for when you arrive in the U.S.

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