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U.S. College Admission Process

by | Oct 28, 2017

A college education is one of the most rewarding investments for your brighter future.  If you want to study in the United States, you will have to start early.  Below is our checklist and timelines before your first class in the U.S. to make you are aware of what to expect during the whole admission process.

Step 1:
2 to 3 years prior to enrollment
Searching and collecting schools’ data online, and attending college education fairs if time permitted.

Step 2:
2 years prior to enrollment
Preparing required tests such as SAT (or ACT) for undergraduate programs, GRE or GMAT or others for graduate schools, and TOEFL or IELTS.

If you don’t have a valid TOEFL or IELTS score before your application, you may consider “Conditional Admissions” which is provided by some U.S. schools.

Step 3:
18 -24 months prior to enrollment
Start to analyze all the school information you have collected and make a comparison table – our website offers this tool.[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”sky” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-pencil-square-o” el_class=”no-icon”]

Step 4:
15 to 12 months prior to enrollment
Primarily select 5 to 20 schools and compare them according to the schools’ admission requirements, costs, locations, programs, and your qualifications.  We offer our quality service at an affordable price for this step.

Note: certain majors or programs are rarely offered by any schools.   In this case, the list of primarily selected schools can be as low as only 5.

Step 5:
10-12 months prior to enrollment
Make a list of documents needed for your U.S. college applications, and start to collect them.

Please note some documents may have their time limitation such as bank statement (usually good for 6 months) and test scores (usually valid for 2-5 years), so make sure that you use the documents before they expire.

Step 6:
9-12 months prior to enrollment
Select your final 5 to 10 schools to apply when you are sure that you are not going to retake any test mentioned in Step 2.

You will be very busy once you start your applications.  You will be likely filling out Common App form or every final school’s online application form, writing personal statement, goal statement, or required essay, sending in official test scores, transcripts and degree certificate(s) or diploma(s), recommendation letters, (English) bank statement or proof of financial support, copy of passport, and other documents such as record of your health history, chest X-ray,  or immunization shots (some schools may need your health record before enrollment).

Step 7:
8-11 months prior to enrollment
After you send out the application documents, keep tracking your applications and make sure that all required application materials have been received.   An effective communication channel between you and the school is highly recommended.   We offer this service with our affordable monthly subscription plan.

Step 8:
3-9 months prior to enrollment
Keep contacting schools until they accept you or reject you.   This stage you can compare alll the final admission offers and decide which school you are going to attend.

Step 9:
2-3 months prior to enrollment

  • Obtain F-1 or J-1 visa, depending upon your admission documents
  • Book your flight
  • Contact your school regarding applying for on-campus or off-campus housing
  • Contact students from your country to see what type of assistance (such as airport pick-up and off-campus housing) they may offer
  • Buy U.S. dollars: You may get $300-500 in cash for food or small items purchase, and the rest is in traveler’s checks.
  • Buy personal belongings which may not be available in the U.S.

 

Step 10:
3 to 7 days before your departure for the U.S.

  • If your school bus will pick you up at the airport, make sure the location and time of the pickup.  (What to do if your flight is late?  What are you going to do?)
  • If someone will pick you up at the airport, contact the person in advance and get his or her contact mobile number or email.  Ask the person to pay attention to your flight info just in case it arrives late.
  • If you won’t be picked up by anyone, you should make sure a bus, taxi, rental car, or Uber is available to get you to the place where you want to go.
  • Be sure you will have a place to stay in the first few days if school’s housing is not available.
  • You can ask your school if you can move into the dorm early.   If so, ask them what day you can move into before your school starts, how much extra money you have to pay, does it also include meals or only for housing.

Step 11:
After Arrive at Your School

  • Checking in your dorm room or off-campus housing.
  • If someone will pick you up at the airport, contact the person in advance and get his or her contact mobile number or email.  Ask the person to pay attention to your flight info just in case it arrives late.
  • If you won’t be picked up by anyone, you should make sure a bus, taxi, rental car, or Uber is available to get you to the place where you want to go.
  • Be sure you will have a place to stay in the first few days if school’s housing is not available when you arrive.
  • You can ask your school if you can move into the dorm early if you arrive on campus early.   If so, ask them what day you can move into before your school starts, how much extra money you have to pay, does it also include meals or only for housing.
  • Report to the International Office before the date indicated on your I-20.  Remember to bring your passport and I-20 form with you. (Some schools may ask for your health record, X-ray report and immunization record.)

 

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