Before you apply to a US college as an international student, you should make sure you’re completing the process correctly the first time around. Otherwise, your application could end up delayed or even rejected for mistakes that you could have avoided.
If you want to give yourself the best chance of getting in, find out which mistakes you should be careful not to make as you apply to college in the US.
Not Doing Enough Research on the School
Choosing the wrong college for you will make adjusting to a new country harder than it needs to be. If you arrive at school and end up disliking the weather or feeling unsafe in the area, you’ll probably be ready to get right back on the plane.
That’s why you should do some research before you even apply to college. Find out what degrees the school offers, how many students it has, and what its best programs are.
You should also find out a little about the city and state it’s in, such as the crime rate, typical weather and any near by attractions or places that might be fun to visit.
If you can’t visit the campus of each college you want to apply to, consider taking a virtual tour online. This will give you an idea of what the campus looks like so you can envision yourself there.
The school’s website and admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about academics, tuition, and other topics of interest. Many schools will also offer to put you in touch with a current student, which can help you gain a first-hand perspective of what its like to attend the school.
Not Using Your International Student Status To Your Advantage
Many colleges welcome international students. The admissions team is often excited to see applicants from outside the US, so use this to your benefit.
Find out how many applicants the school usually receives from your country. If you’re one of few, this could be beneficial as it sets you apart from other applicants.
Since many US colleges and universities these days are actively recruiting international students, you should also find out if your chosen schools offer any specific scholarships for international students. This could be helpful not only in lowering your tuition costs, but also in helping you make the final decision.
Another great benefit of being an international student during the US college application process is that you have the opportunity to write a truly unique admissions essay. Maybe your country has a specific holiday or tradition that you can discuss, or maybe you want to specifically speak to why you want to study in the US and how you see this shaping the person you hope to become.
Not Translating All Admissions Documents
International students might have some advantages when they apply to college in the US, but they often have one small drawback: a language barrier. If your admissions documents are not in English, you need to have them translated.
This includes your transcripts from high school or any college you have already attended, as well as test scores, course descriptions and financial aid documents. You will also need translated versions of your birth certificate, medical records, recommendation letters, and of course, your admissions essays.
In fact, you will likely need a certified translation for your documents. Without it, your application may be delayed or even denied, since the admissions team won’t be able to understand or accept it.
By following these tips you can feel confident that you’ve put your best foot forward and done everything possible to gain admission to the US college of your choice. After all, you don’t want to be passed over by your dream school due to an application mistake you easily could have avoided.
If you’ve been through the process already, do you have any additional college admissions tips for international students?