Last Updated: July 06, 2021
How to Prepare College Admission Application
Students who are graduating from high school will be for the first time open to the academic setting of higher education when they plan to do their undergraduate courses. The initial step for students will be to decide on a course in a field of study they prefer. While some candidates will have this figured out as early as their junior year, some others will wait until after graduation to do the same.
Candidates who are sure of their plans for higher education will have already taken their PSAT
examinations, if they reside within the country and the candidates who are applying from abroad, will have already scheduled their TOEFL/IELTS tests. Most candidates will also have queued up their slot for the GRE if their course so requires it.
The procedures involved in applying to colleges or universities vary from course to course since the examinations and other requirements and qualifications are subject to variation. Candidates traveling from abroad will also have the additional procedures of applying for a visa and immigration clearance. Applying for higher education always begins with a proper plan that will suit the convenience of the candidate. The major steps that have to be taken irrespective of the course the candidate plans to take are the following.
Choosing Apt Universities
Selecting the right university for a candidate is not only about choosing universities
that provide the course
of the candidates liking or about the quality of education in the department they want to join. Though these are important factors, students will often have to look into more practical aspects like the safety of the city they plan to move into along with the cost of living in the place. They will also have to be mindful of the cost of attendance in the institution and the scholarships they can receive. Financing college education
is an important step for any student moving abroad or planning to join a college.
The pointers for choosing an institution are-
- Check if the university specializes in the field the candidate wants to work in.
- If the university has a department the candidate can join, look at the qualifications of the professors and their specializations and contributions to the field in order to see whether they will be able to provide the kind of guidance and experience the candidate is seeking.
- Once the department and the campus have proven to be well-suited for the candidate, check the city in which the university is located. This process will involve understanding the safety that the city provides to both students and women along with the cost of living in the city as a student.
- After this, candidates will be able to check the cost of attendance at the college and incorporate the cost of living into it thereby confirming whether they have sufficient funds for attending and completing the course without financial trouble.
- Candidates who are relying on scholarships and grants will have to check the college policy for providing the same and the percentage of students awarded with scholarships every year to get their facts right.
- Now, candidates will be able to consider whether they want to join in the Fall or Spring Semester. The benefits of joining each semester along with the nearest possible date in which the candidate will be able to process all required documents have to be taken into account.
It is considered to be a good idea for candidates to select universities from each quarter. Candidates will be able to fill the forms and process the college application online by scanning in their original documents and submitting them before the deadline set by the university. Ensuring that there are no typos and that all the documents have been uploaded successfully is crucial for not losing the opportunity of studying at a university due to negligence.
Documents Required for College Admission
The easiest way of filling a college application is to collect the necessary documents first and then filling out the college application form which will mostly be online. It is better for candidates to have the original, a signed copy, and a scanned copy of the original certificates in case it will be required during the admission process. The documents that are generally required are:
Obtaining Letters of Recommendation
Most universities in the US have a set format for uploading letters of recommendation. This is often to be uploaded along with the candidate’s transcripts, statement of purpose, etc. Candidates are required to forward the format to the professors who are providing them with the letter of recommendation. The professors whose email addresses have been provided by the candidate for reference will be contacted by the university. It is important that the professor responds and knows the candidate well enough to put in a good word. If the class rank of the candidate is good, it would be great to mention the same.
The letter of recommendation should have the letterhead of the institution the candidate studied in or was part of and should also contain the signature and seal of the professor providing the letter.
The transcripts or mark sheets of the student generally contain information regarding the courses the candidate attended, the subjects in the course, and the GPA
or grade the candidate received in each of the subjects they have taken. Generally, the transcript will also include the years in which the candidate took the course and how long it took them to complete the course along with the personal details of the candidates.
While some universities have a transcript evaluation cell to check the authenticity of the transcript that has been submitted, most other campuses will require candidates to submit an already evaluated transcript that has been translated into English and whose scores have been converted into the standard US scale.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which universities should I apply to after completing my GRE and TOEFL examinations?
Candidates who have already completed their GRE and TOEFL examination should apply to as many universities as they can, provided that they meet the GPA and other eligibility criteria. If the candidate has average scores in their examinations and expects to be below the 70th percentile in both the GRE and TOEFL examination, they shouldn’t ideally opt for the top league universities due to the high probability of not being accepted and since the applications cost around $150 per college.
It is ideal for candidates to weigh their options and choose colleges that offer courses in their field of specialization since even if other credentials match, if the specialization of the candidate is not offered by the university, they are bound to get rejected.
I am an International Student. How should I approach the application process?
International students who have all their certificates at hand and have decided on studying abroad can start by looking for universities where they fit in the eligibility criteria and where their field of specialization is being offered.
- Candidates looking for courses must check whether they require a 4-year BS degree or a 3-year degree for their Master’s course.
- Start applying to universities. Most of the major intake in American Universities happens in the fall (Aug-Sep). So, for international students, their application (including scores) must reach Universities by November (prior year) - March (same year) depending on the deadlines of each university or department.
- Once the applicant gets admission, they will receive documents regarding the visa procedures which can be taken to the embassy for processing the student visa.
- Note: Health Insurance is mandatory for international students.
Candidates who have high scores in all the examinations they have attended and also have enough publications or work experience will be able to apply for the topmost universities in their course. They will have to ensure that the personal details and documents provided are true to the dot in order to not have their application rejected.
The documents they will be required to submit are-
- GRE (or GMAT) score + TOEFL/IELTS (for international students)
- GPA/Class Rank
- Undergrad School's reputation/ranking
- Recommendations (from professors of your undergrad school)
- Research Experience (papers published)
- Work Experience
- Admission Essay
How do I get Financial Aid?
Getting financial aid for higher studies is tricky especially for international students. Most international students opt for aid from their own country or take educational loans from their own country in order to get better options and better interest rates.
Students who join for Ph.D. courses will be able to receive tuition waivers and a monthly stipend depending upon the university they have applied to.
What happens after submitting the application?
Candidates will have to wait for a response from the university. It will not do good for candidates to keep mailing or contacting the university in question. They will mostly be able to track their application online right after they have submitted the application until they receive an official response.
Once the candidate receives the admission acceptance letter, they will be able to proceed with the student visa
processing by contacting their embassy and showing proof of acceptance.