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College Application Tips for International Students

Posted on April 28th, 2015 by Bryanna Davis

After you spend hours researching schools to find one you want to attend you might think the hard part is over. However, applying to colleges and universities inside the US is not a simple process. It will become more complicated and more research will be required before you can start packing. Gathering as much information and as many tips as possible before you diving into the application process can help keep you from getting overwhelmed.

Watching our Hangout on College Application Tips for International Students is a great place to start when gathering information. If you weren’t able to attend our Hangout, here are a few things you need to know and missed.

Every school will have a different application process and require you to submit different items. However, there are a few items that are commonly required:

1. An application- Typical items that you will need to submit on your application may include personal information, family information, testing scores, your education history and extracurricular activities. When completing the application include as much information about yourself as possible, the application is your first chance to make a good impression and show the school of your choice why you should be accepted.

2. Transcripts- Your school will need to have official documentation on your educational history and will often request your transcripts. Transcripts from your home country might not reflect the same credit system or grading scale. If this is the case you’re able to either have a credential evaluator convert your information, or the school’s admissions department will convert this information for you.

3. SAT or ACT Score- Many schools require that students take the SAT or ACT and meet a minimum score requirement. You will want to schedule your test as early as possible to ensure you can submit you scores on time and re-take the test if needed.

4. English Proficiency Score- If English is not your first language you will need to take an English proficiency test like the TOEFL or IELTS. Just like the ACT or SAT many international students choose to take this test a few times (if it’s within their budget) until they obtain their desired score.

5. Admission Essay- Some schools will require applicants to write an admission essay. Each school will have varying essay requirements when it comes to topic and length, ensure that you read the instructions and given topic carefully. If you’re applying to multiple schools don’t reuse an essay- even if the topic is the same or similar. Creating an essay that is original, creative, reflects your personality and is personalized to the school in which you’re applying can best assist you with your acceptance.

6. An Application Fee- Most colleges and universities will require you to pay an application fee. This fee will vary from one school to the next but it’s typically less than $100. Since application fees can add up quickly ensure that you only apply to schools in which you truly want to attend and if accepted. For those who qualify, some schools will give students the chance to submit an application fee waiver.

If you have a school that you would like to apply to make sure you confirm exactly what items you need to submit by contacting the school. If you’re not sure which college or university you would like to attend you can search for a school in the US here.

Written by Bryanna Davis

Bryanna joined EIC in 2011 after returning to the United States from teaching English in China. Her interest in international education, sparked initially by her own study abroad experience in Wales, led her to the company. Bryanna is originally from Missouri and is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri.

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