Getting an education in America is one of the options for building a successful career, because this country invariably draws young and ambitious people to its territory. Education, received in the US, is considered one of the best in the world. The American educational system offers a variety of options for students to obtain quality education. Hundreds of foreign applicants come to the American educational institutions every year. I must say that in the United States there is a wide choice of institutions of higher education, so the question "How to enter the USA universities" is as relevant for foreign students as possible.
Programs for admission to universities in America - types and features
As a rule, it's quite difficult for some students to enroll in an American university right after the end of the school. The education system in the countries is quite different, therefore it is better to prepare the pre-university educational programs before submitting documents to students.
- Pathway program program - an educational course designed specifically for foreign students. The program involves education in a private American college for one year, and then transfer immediately to the second year of the partner university. This option is convenient because the education in the university is guaranteed, and admission tests will not be required.
- Pre-university preparation at the university. Many American universities organize their own educational programs for foreign students. After them, you can go to this college or college for a bachelor's degree without additional entrance examinations.
- School preparation programs. If foreign students can enter the first 2 programs only after grade 11, already having a document on secondary education, then it will not be necessary to prepare for a university in a private school. A student can switch to a program for high school students abroad - American High School Diploma , after 9th grade and get a foreign passport. After that, you can already apply to the university. For those foreign students who transfer to an American school after grade 10 in a school in their homeland, American secondary schools offer the Advanced Placement (AP) program. Within 1-2 years, foreign students here will receive the necessary academic knowledge for further education in the university, as well as raise the level of English. AP - a course of in-depth study of several disciplines under a program similar to the university one.
After completing the education in a private school, students also need to be prepared for 2 basic introductory tests used in American institutions: TOEFL language testing and SAT (or SAT I) academic subjects proficiency testing. Depending on the chosen specialization, the student may be asked to pass an interview or a creative contest. This point is also worth considering when choosing a pre-university educational program.
How to enter the US universities - a scheme of action and the necessary documents
To organize the fastest and most comfortable process of admission to institutions of higher education abroad, there are several mandatory steps. Their implementation will save the time of a foreign entrant and help to make the most accurate choice that meets the student's goals:
- First of all, the entrant must decide on a specialty - here it is necessary to take into account the demand for a particular profession both in America and in the homeland of the future student. It may happen that with a popular education, even an overseas sample (for example, jurisprudence) there will be no guarantee of finding a job, since there are already so many candidates.
- The next step is to carefully study the American educational institutions (universities and colleges), which can potentially suit you. Now every school has its own website, where you can find all the necessary information. It is better to select 5-6 institutions for yourself to increase your chances of admission. The main criteria for the selection of an institution is the university ranking, the scientific base for your chosen specialization and location. Choose a university in the city where you will be pleased to be for several years.
- Preparation for admission should start no less than 12-16 months before the start of the school year. In autumn, prepare the necessary package of documents, including the results of the TOEFL test, which should also be completed well in advance. After several packages have been collected, send them to several selected universities and wait for the answer of the selection committee (usually applications are processed in April-May).
- When preparing documents, do not forget that each American university has its own specifics, therefore it is better to use those qualities and sides that are valued in this or that educational institution in order to describe its achievements. In addition, take into account that the application itself is usually paid (approximately 125-150 $). In the case of a university refusal, this amount is not refundable.
A package of documents required for foreign students for admission to American colleges and universities:
- A questionnaire filled out in English on the website of the university or manually
- Certificate attesting the existence of secondary education
- Extract with assessments of the applicant for 2-3 years of secondary school + diplomas and certificates for the same period
- The results of the TOEFL language exam
- The results of academic testing of SAT I or SAT II (for more prestigious universities)
- Essays on a given topic
- Motivation letter, revealing the identity of the student
- 2-3 letters of recommendation from teachers (an English teacher or a teacher in a subject matter) or from the director of a secondary school entrant
- A bank statement on behalf of a student or his parents, confirming the candidate's ability to pay for tuition and residence in the United States for one academic year.
The price of receiving educational services in the United States is quite high, as local colleges and universities form a cost taking into account the overall standard of living in their country. On average, annual studying at an American university will require foreign students to spend 15,000 $ to 30,000 $. A more budget option would be to obtain a bachelor's degree in college - this is about 8,000 $ - 10,000 $. In America, the system of financial support for students, both local and foreign, is widespread. Through a variety of US funds, a student can receive a scholarship. At the same time, you should not think that this is impossible - the requirements are high, but their implementation will help you save money on getting quality education abroad.