Applying to the US

Applying to US colleges and universities can be done through the Common Application or directly via paper / online application forms usually available through institutional websites.

There are many websites that offer comprehensive assistance and information about the university/course selection process as well as the application process, the most helpful being that of The College Board.

Please remember that counselors and institutional publications available online and at school are there to guide you through the application process.

There is no perfect formula to getting the search process right. Most students find a moment of clarity which allows them to focus their attention on a few institutions that excite them. Certainty only comes once you have been at an institution so don’t expect to know for sure. However, trust your instincts and research, and you will surely make a good choice. It is a process of elimination, weighing options, and long hours of thought. When all the research is done and it is time to apply, there are usually still questions to ask, but you know that you have certainly answered almost all the critical ones and therefore can be sure of yourself.

Please note that the terms “institution”, “university” and “college” are used interchangeably throughout this document since both offer undergraduate degrees with the only distinction between the two terms being that universities also offer post-undergraduate degrees such as Masters and Ph.Ds.

Here is a suggested set of steps that you may follow to apply:

1. Research universities and available courses using the internet or publications

2. Check requirements such as deadlines, essays, testing and documents

3. Almost every university requires SAT I and often SAT II Subject Tests / TOEFL so register for the appropriate testing

4. Shortlist eight to ten universities where you wish to apply based on criteria that are important to you (location, cost, academics, style, scholarships and more)

5. Common Application vs. direct application

6. Early Decision vs. Early Action vs. Normal

7. Recommendations and supporting documents

8. Essays and personal statements

9. Financial Aid forms and documents (if applicable)

10. Admissions decisions and responses

11. Once your university choice is finalized, begin the USA visa process

12. Get ready for university

For additional information please refer to the Applying to the USA PDF document.
For US institutions with flexible or no SAT requirements, please refer to the Flexible SAT Requirements PDF document.

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