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Admission to US Universities

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Admission to US Universities

The US universities are overwhelmingly private, and therefore the cost of training in them is quite high. Higher education in the United States is considered one of the best in the world, therefore, despite the significant financial costs, millions of students around the world seek to acquire a profession and specialty in the United States.

Usually the process of obtaining higher education takes 4 years, you can get it in college or university. Universities are divided into private (most of them) and state - they belong to certain states and are financed from the federal budget. State universities are very, very large (although there are exceptions - universities with a population of up to 2,000 people) - and yet are generally considered less prestigious and ranked than private ones. The main goal of state universities is to educate residents of their state, so the cost for foreign students (as well as for representatives of other regions) can be increased.

Admission to an American higher education institution is a lengthy and rather complicated process, taking a lot of time and effort. First of all, a personal application (Common Application) is filled in, a kind of request for admission: all personal information about the entrant, the results of examinations and the level of school achievement, successes and achievements in any spheres (scientific, creative, sports), interests and dignity are indicated here. It will be useful to attach letters of recommendation from teachers, tutors, school principals, to pass a personal interview and interview (it is usually assigned to all promising candidates). Also in the application package is a small (up to two printed pages) essay written by the student himself.

We recommend selecting priority colleges and universities in advance, while you are in high school: this will help you gather more information, prepare well for the entrance exams and tests. Many senior-level programs are designed to prepare for entering the university, especially the second year of the training course. To enroll in the most top-rated and rating universities, we recommend that you plan in advance a four-year plan that includes the following items:

  • Choose a priority educational institution
  • Practice writing essays, essays,motivational letter
  • Visit Open Doors, talk with the Admission Board, teachers, rector, administrative staff and students
  • Meet with a consultant on higher education: he will help you more Clearly determine the choice of profession and educational institution, will prompt requirements and examples of admission tests.

Probability of admission to US universities

All US universities can be divided into 4 conditional groups, being guided by the possibility and reality of admission:

  • Reach schools (rating agencies, the percentage of enrollment is not more than 5%)
  • Possibles (or high matches) = approximately 25%
  • Probables (or low matches) = Relatively problem-free options, the probability of entering about 50%
  • Solid or safety schools = the most affordable options, which can enter into which 80% of entrants can enter.

We recommend that you apply at once to several institutions belonging to different categories - so you will increase your chances of admission and will be able to start your studies even if the most ranked higher education institutions refuse.

Types Universities

Inthe American system of education colleges and universities mean roughly the same thing - there are some differences between them, but higher education can be obtained both here and there. All institutions are divided into several categories:

  • Two-year colleges, or biennial colleges

Such institutions are mainly aimed at educating children from their own states, so you can enter here even with relatively low scores for exams and testing. The cost of training is also quite affordable. After the completion of the main program and the receipt of a diploma (usually Associates degree), you can apply for a transfer to a good four-year college and receive a high-quality higher education without additional expenditure of time and finances.

  • Four-year college, or four-year colleges

As the name implies, the term of study here is 4 academic years. Most students here receive a bachelor's degree: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Sciences (B.S.).

  • University, or universities.

Full-fledged institutions providing a full course of higher education. Here you can getBachelor's degree , Master (or as it is often called Master's degree, including MBA or MFA), Doctor's degree (Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D., MD; Thesis). Medical universities give a doctorate D.O. Degrees, legal - J.D. Degree. Unlike colleges, universities constantly conduct various studies, participate in scientific projects (including international ones), many of them are prestigious research centers.

  • Liberal arts colleges, or Colleges of Liberal Arts

Here you can study on the interactive program (duration is 4 years), and the teacher is maximally involved in the learning process and works constantly together With students. A distinctive feature is very small classes and groups (thanks to which the teacher is constantly in contact with each student), as well as conducting profile research.

  • State colleges and universities, or public colleges or universities

They are attractive primarily for small training costs, as they are financed from the state and federal budget. Similar universities are usually very large and have thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands!) Of students, they do not have very strict admission rules and entrance tests. An additional advantage is that foreigners are accepted here almost on par with American citizens, but preference is still given to residents of their "home" state.

  • Engineering or technical schools, or engineering and technical schools

Educate students in specialized programs and specializations, and therefore place increased demands on specific skills and knowledge.

What is needed for admission to the US universities - Admission

As it was already noted, the process of entering an American university takes a lot of time and effort. Usually schoolchildren already in the first year of schooling in high school (and sometimes in middle classes) apply to the admission committee and to professional consultants, communicate with commissioners, who are sent to schools to inform students. Each US university seeks to attract the most promising and talented children to its ranks, beats for every gifted student.

Speaking objectively, in America, students have as many as four possible admission periods - we'll look at each a little more closely.

1) Early decision, or "early decision."

A suitable option for those who accurately and definitively decided on a priority educational institution and found the means for their training (financial aid). Educational institutions are ready to accept up to 45% of students in the Early Decision period: such applicants are as confident as possible in their choice, they are motivated to study in a particular particular institution and in a particular specialty. Usually such pupils pass the entrance and final exams perfectly, get high scores (because they have decided in advance with the specialty and carefully studied the selected subjects), are confident in their financial solvency and are able to pay for tuition. Admission of students on the basis of the Early Decision increases the prestige and rating of the university, as well as the main competition: the more the higher school we wish and the priority for the students, the higher the level it sets for its entrants.

But consider the following fact: if you have chosen a particular institution for the Early Decision, you will no longer be able to file documents with another institution. Reasons are not important: you are not able to pay for training, changed your mind, incorrectly picked up a specialty - a change of decision is no longer allowed. If you were admitted to a particular institution in advance, then you can not apply to other institutions of higher education - but you can count on a more loyal and profitable cost of education: it is not uncommon for institutions to raise tuition fees for the spring recruitment.

As soon as possible, clarify all the priority questions from the Admissions Committee, find out all the details and possible "pitfalls", visit the Open Days and talk with the students. If your decision is final, send your application and application pack before November!

2) Early action, or so-called "early actions"

It's a lot like the Early Decision, but the main difference is in the opportunity to choose your college or university. This option is very convenient for successful, talented and stubborn students who achieved high results in studies, but until the end they did not decide on the choice of the educational institution. But keep in mind that not all institutions are ready to provide an opportunity for early action - be sure to specify this information specifically in selected universities.

3) Regular admission

This is the main admission period for most students: for those who are not fully determined with the choice and want to further increase their academic results and scores during the second academic year in the senior Classes. If you choose this period for admission, consider that you need to send the application pack until March.

4) Rolling admissions

This period is almost always established by large universities, where applicants are given a large number of places: this is a set after the main application period in March.

Which test should I choose? ACT or SAT Reasoning Test?

Your choice is not likely to be of fundamental importance, but there are certain nuances. Most universities accept the results of both ACT andSAT - you can convert points between them and compare results. Nevertheless, some universities prefer this or that option, so it is better to specify specific details directly in the chosen institution.

ACT provides the opportunity for a more flexible and extensive choice between several universities (of course, if they do not show the obvious preference for SAT). Advantage is the surrender of the results of SAT together with the rest of the sections or instead of them: for example, it is better to pass the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1-2 than the usual standard exam in mathematics. We recommend that you train in passing both exams in order to be ready for any decision of the university - remember that you have the opportunity to retake, if you are dissatisfied with the results, but the testing is not more than two times. Moreover, many universities are critical of students who retake exams - it is better to try to score high points on the first test.

Application for admission to US universities

There are two common types of applications:

  • The Standard Common Application is fairly simple to fill in, it is accepted by approximately 500 American colleges
  • University College's Application - specially designed Application for a particular university; It is most often used by top, rating institutions of higher education.

The standard application specifies the basic digital information: the results of exams and scores on testing, school results of studies, data on the financial solvency of the applicant. In the university statement points are provided about the features, talents and skills of each applicant, more emphasis is placed on the individual advantages of each student.


For private applicants, personal interviews or interviews are almost always assigned, and in most prestigious universities this requirement does not necessarily apply. In general, the recommendations for students are standard: show the admissions committee that you are really interested in teaching at this university precisely in the chosen specialty. Prove your ability to work effectively in a team, readiness for new ideas and non-standard solutions, demonstrate your knowledge about the institution, its advantages, merits and history. Imagine yourself as the most promising and worthy candidate, tell me why you are worthy of studying in this institution, what makes you different from other applicants for a place.

Be prepared for provocative questions, hold on confidently and with dignity. Many questions in the interview are partially repeated in an essay or motivational letter, so a qualitative preparation for writing an essay will help you and pass a personal interview without much difficulty.


For foreigners who have chosen higher education in the United States, writing essays often becomes a serious test.

First of all, the essay clearly shows, whether you deserve your evaluation in English language testing, whether you are good at writing and composing skills. Often the admission committee gives preference to the student, whose essays differ from others, stands out from the general series, surprises them. This does not mean that your goal is to shock and provoke the admissions committee. It is not necessary to describe in the letter the detailed life of your pets, the process of a difficult struggle with alcohol or drug addiction, paint the criminal past in colors, apologize for the low results of tests and examinations, promising to improve in the future. Do not address the themes of racism, feminism and sexism, do not describe your sexual experience; Also, do not rely on the achievements of your family or the high-ranking position of your parents - do not expect to deserve this way. Of course, do not literally beg for your place with tearful entreaties or threaten members of the admissions committee! At the same time, your essay should not be a simple list of your achievements and strengths - show individuality, show that you are a living person with your own characteristics and unique qualities. Avoid swagger, rudeness, excess humor, excessive brevity and, on the contrary, a lengthy narrative.

The ideal essay is an honest and truthful story about yourself, a demonstration of strengths without significant deviations from the topic and general phrases. As a result of reading, the admissions committee should make sure that you are an honest, purposeful and persistent student, a conscientious and decent person with a sense of humor (within reason), eloquent and intelligent. Try to write something like a short novel - the size of the essay is usually about 500 words. Note that we also accept essays written in accordance with literary traditions: for example, using a poetic syllable or stylization. The main thing is not to overdo it!

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