Admission for Fall 2008? Your time starts NOW!
Oct: It's the time of the year when many students from India would have commenced
their studies at an American university; and if you aim to secure admission to
the Fall 2008 term, the time to start planning is now!
International students often underestimate the amount of time required to
apply for admission to schools in the US. Avoid this mistake by planning well in
advance of the time that you intend to begin your studies. When setting your
schedule, always remember that doing things early is the best way forward.
I cannot stress enough the importance of chalking out a time-table of tasks
to be accomplished each month; and that's easier when you make quarterly
plans -- the most critical of them being Q1.
Quarter One: September, October, November
University research and selection
The US offers over 3,500 university options! You can find several web sites
with university listings, such as US News. Surf
these sites until you find universities which offer the degree programmes of
Once you accomplish this, be sure to consider these other
factors: admission criteria (GPA and test scores), accreditation, application
deadlines, location and budget vs. tuition fee.
Research the university through its web site, take feedback from its current
students and check out international student blogs. For postgraduate/doctorate
applicants, contact the Graduate Director to ensure that the programme is in
alignment to your career objectives.
Your university selection should ideally be a mix-bag of options: select a
few that are competitive and with admission criteria slightly higher than your
academic profile; select some with an admission criteria that exactly matches
your qualifications; and select a couple of universities as a fall-back plan.
If budget is not a constraint, choose more universities to apply to;
otherwise, shortlist at least 5-6 universities.
Prepare for university application
Before you actually apply, you must prepare for the things needed to make a
This includes: requesting attested Transcripts and Degree Certificates from
past schools, getting recommendation letters from professors (and employers for
those who have professional experience), writing the personal statement/essay,
preparing for TOEFL, GRE/GMAT/SAT and taking the Test.
A complete application usually leads to admission decisions made early
Keep leeway to retake tests if scores are unsatisfactory. Take advantage of
the ETS free score reporting service, which allows you to electronically convey
your official scores to the chosen universities and is the fastest way to do so.
The personal statement needs careful planning and may require several
revisions before you finalise one that truly reflects your personality,
achievements, intentions and purpose of applying to the particular programme and
Some universities require your credits to be evaluated by independent credit
evaluation agencies (for example http://www.wes.org/). You must check with universities that you
have selected, and send necessary documents to the evaluation agencies that they
prefer. This is usually mentioned on the international admissions web page.
You must meet the application deadlines of the universities to which you
apply, which may be as much as ten months before the beginning of the school
You can either apply online and pay the Application Fee through a credit
card, or download and print a paper application that can be mailed to the
university and pay the Application Free through a money order check.
Make sure to pack in all the necessary documents and add a cover letter of
its contents. Choose a reputable international courier service, ensure that you
mail the application to the appropriate university office and don't forget to
double-check the address! An express mail should reach in about five days. Use
the online mail tracking feature to be certain of its delivery.
It is not unusual for institutions to request more information or
resubmission of something you have already sent, so keep sufficient extra time
for such a possibility. Your financial aid application may be needed to be sent
along with the University application or once your application has been
evaluated and accepted, depending on university policy.
Quarter Two: December, January, February
Most universities do not begin to evaluate applications and announcing
admission decisions unless it is complete. Some documents that may be asked for,
after you apply, and before an admission decision is made are Certificate of
Finances and Proof of Income.
Your test scores would also need to be reported officially, by ETS or College
Board (in case of SAT). If you have not done so at the time of taking your test,
you would need to pay online and specify the Universities to which you would
like your scores to be sent.
Universities that need credential evaluation to be done would wait for
official evaluation to reach the International Admissions office prior to making
an admission decision. To expedite this process, once can choose the express
evaluation option offered by most of the independent credit evaluating services.
If you get a low TOEFL score, the university may recommend you to take up
their English language course along with your degree programme. Since the
decision to do so is often left to the discretion of the student, most
universities expect you to confirm whether or not you agree to take up the
English language course. An admission decision would be made only after you
accept or reject their proposal.
Similarly, some universities may recommend you to take up extra courses on
the campus, to make up for pre-requisites needed to commence your degree
programme. Once you have been unofficially accepted into the degree programme,
the university may ask you to confirm if you are willing to take up these
Once such example is of students with a 3-year undergraduate degree, wanting
to secure admission to the MBA programme and is asked to take up the Bridge
course. An admission decision would be made only after you accept their
Unless your application was delayed, you can accept an unofficial acceptance
letter by Feb 2008. This is a good time to send your Financial Aid Scholarship
applications to universities that accept them after you have been accepted.
During this time, three situations may arise:
- You are accepted in some universities but are
awaiting a decision from the most competitive ones, which are also your most
- You have been denied admission by the
competitive universities, and have received acceptances from those that matched
your academic profile most appropriately and some other universities that you
- You have been accepted my most universities
that you prefer and need to decide which to join.
Your official admission letter, also called the I-20 will be mailed to you by
the University in the following weeks.
"This website is very good & informative I want to know the adresses of evaluation center in Karachi i.e from where i can evaluate my educational documents. Thanks."
Name: Nargis Siddiqui
City, Country: karachi, Pakistan
"am greatful 2 God allmight 4 making dis institution 2 stand well i appreciate it."
City, Country: Uyo,Nigeria
"i m student of public administration .i m doing post grudate dipolma in public administration.i wana masters from any united states universities but i find hardship during selecting any particular universty which offer public adm degree.so plz can u guide me ."
City, Country: karachi, pakistan
"I would like to apprcaite this universty greatlly. And I am eager to join.Please send me all reqiurements to join this universty.I am under gratuate students."
Name: MENGISTIE GEBRIE KASSA
City, Country: ETHIOPIA
"i want admision in MS COMPUTER SCIENCE ON the base of scholership."
Name: muhammad asif
City, Country: karak, Paksitan
"I want to get adminissio at USA and i want to read maths/physics there pl help me to get it thanks ."
Name: ANDREW GLORY
City, Country: NIGERIA,ABA
"I want to do my M.D degree.I think I have a lot of potential to be the Michael Heart of the future.please help otherwise this talent will die in Pakistan atleast ."
City, Country: Pakistan