The United States has the largest and most versatile system for higher education. Any student interested in applying for school in the US for higher studies will find a suitable place at one of more than 3000 American colleges and universities.
With so many options, how do you choose your school?
1. General Research
The internet is the best source of information since most institutions have websites with detailed information including admission, programs, scholarships, credential evaluator services, etc. Many of these institutions also give you direct contact by phone or mail to answer any questions you may not have found online.
Before deciding on your school, you will want to consider geographical locations, costs, and, of course, programs offered in the subject of interest.
2. University/College Research
The next step is to research potential universities and obtain information from the school directly. Most universities have an online application process or detail the steps involved in the application procedures on their website. These universities will also require your educational qualifications, credential evaluation reports, test results and letters of recommendation. Many of the universities and colleges may have a center on campus that administer ESL classes. One great way to find out if this college/university is a good fit for you is by spending a few months learning English and being immersed in the environment. Some even say this could give you an additional advantage on admissions!
3. Exam Preparation
Nearly all universities in the United States require applicants to take what are known as ‘standardized tests’ designed to measure students’ aptitude for further study. Students whose native language is not English might have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which are administered in most countries. In these cases, many students take general English or test preparation classes at an ESL school.
Undergraduate programs usually require the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or the ACT (American College Testing) in order to gain admissions. Business graduate schools and MBA programs usually require students to do well on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) while other post-graduate programs in other disciplines generally require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Other specialized tests are offered for professional programs such as Law, Medicine, Dentistry, etc. To determine what exams are specific to your situation, contact your program to see what their minimum requirements are.
How are foreign qualifications reviewed?
Some universities employ specialists in foreign educational credential evaluation systems to review documents submitted by international students. Others will instruct applicants to have their credentials evaluated by an independent foreign credential evaluation agency, and will provide them with a list of organizations whose evaluations they accept. The right evaluation services can be found by asking the university for further instructions since each school is unique.
What else can a educational credential evaluation report do for you?
If you obtain an independent credential evaluation report it will give you some idea of what your educational background is worth in the US. Additionally, this will help determine what programs you are qualified for. That information can be very helpful when you make preparations for study in the United States, especially in finding the college or university that is just right for you.
If you are interested in studying English in the US, check our ESL Directory featuring programs and schools throughout the country.