Applying to USA universities can be a lengthy process for internationals and is
more detailed compared to applying to a South African university. In our blog today we take you through a step-by-step guide on the actions you need to take and the documents you will need to complete a US university application.
Before you start with the online application, make sure you have all of the following documents and information on hand:
• Grade 9 to most recent report cards
• Standardized Tests Scores (SAT/ACT/TOEFL)
• Letters of Recommendation
• Detailed Parent Information
Step 1 - Complete the Online Application
Search for the Apply Now button on the university website in order to start your online application, make sure you answer the questions as truthfully and to the best of your ability. All universities have a student portal, make sure you save your login ID, username and password and visit the student portal on a regular basis to make sure that your application is on track at all times.
Step 2 - Report Cards
American universities will consider your academic school marks from Gr 9 -12 for university admission. All subjects across these four years have equal weighting; grade 9 counts just as much as your matric year. It is important to ensure that you submit English copies of your report cards on the method the university requires. There are three possible ways of submitting your report cards;
Step 3 - Standardized Tests
Standardised tests, such as the SAT & ACT are often required when applying to USA universities. The most common test is the SAT, which consists of an English and Maths section, whereas the ACT includes a Physical Science, English and Math sections. Aspire Atlantic recommends students to take the SAT.
After you have written your SAT exam, the results will be made available two weeks after you have completed the test and your official score report will be issued in the next 4 weeks. Simply log into your college board account, navigate to the score report tab and send your score reports to all the institutions that you are applying to as well as the league association you will be competing in, either the NCAA or NAIA. The cost for sending your score report will be $12 per institution.
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) might be required for students who will be looking to join a Junior or Community College. You will be able to send your TOEFL score report from your TOEFL account and you will be charged $20 to send a Score report per institution.
Step 4 - Letters of Recommendation
Universities would like to gain insight into the type of person you are and see if you will be a good fit for their student body. Letters of recommendation from teachers will give the university an indication of who you truly are. Ask a teacher or your coach to write you an appealing letter of recommendation for your application. The recommender might be required to send the letter of recommendation directly to the university.
Step 5 - Financial Information
A big part of deciding to go to a university is being able to afford it. Once you have received your athletic scholarship you will need to submit proof of funds to showcase that your family can afford the remaining shortfall on your university fees. This can be in the form of bank statements, payslips, trust funds or annuities.
Studying in America can be an exciting and rewarding experience, so be sure to carefully follow the instructions of each school that you are considering. If you have any questions about the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we are always here to help
Applying for a US student visa can be a long process, so make sure you start preparing well in advance – at least two to four months before your course is due to start. Before you can apply for your F1 Student Visa, you need to be officially accepted into a university.
Once accepted, the admissions office will issue you with an I-20 document. This document will contain all of your university admissions information as well as a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) number. You can only apply for an F1 Student Visa once you have obtained this document and number.
Prospective students will go through four stages when applying for a US student visa:
Pay the SEVIS Fee
The first step entails having to pay for the SEVIS fee. In order to pay the fee, you’ll need to complete an online form. Be sure that the required details are entered exactly as they appear on your I-20 form.
At the time of writing, the I-901 (SEVIS) fee is US$350 for F1 visa applications. Having paid the fee, you can return to the website to check on your payment status if desired. You can obtain and print a payment confirmation from the website at any time after processing your payment. You’ll need this payment confirmation as proof for your US student visa interview.
Complete a US Student Visa application
Once you have received your SEVIS form and paid the SEVIS fee, you can then begin your US Student Visa Application. It’s best to apply as early as possible, regardless of when your program is due to start, as visa processing times can vary. Your visa can be issued up to 120 days before you’re due to enter the US.
In all cases, you’ll need to complete the online visa application form DS-160. You’ll need to select the location from which you wish to apply and ensure you have all the documents and information you need to fill in the application. After selecting and answering a security question, you’ll be taken to the pages of the form. At the top, you’ll find your application ID. You’ll need this ID to retrieve your form if you need to exit the application and return to it later. Please take careful note of your application ID!
Personal details required to complete the DS-160 form include:
Pay the visa application fee
The visa application fee is non-refundable, and can be paid in one of three ways:
Schedule and attend a US Student Visa interview
The final step in obtaining a US student visa is to schedule and attend a visa interview. You can do this either online or using the phone. At Aspire Atlantic, we always recommend the online route, as it is simple and proves to be time-efficient.
The visa application process cannot be completed until you appear for an interview with a consular officer. Be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa if you apply outside your place of permanent residence. Wait times for visa interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category.
Documents for the visa interview
Check the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply to make sure you have all the required documents needed for your interview. These documents may include:
Attending the visa interview
It’s important to be on time for your visa interview – late applicants may be asked to reschedule for another day. In most cases, only applicants with a scheduled appointment will be admitted inside the US embassy or consulate.
The purpose of the visa interview is for the consular officer to determine whether you are qualified to receive a US student visa and, if so, which visa category is appropriate for you. Be prepared to answer questions regarding ties to your home country, your English language skills, your academic background, the program in the US to which you have been admitted, and proof of your financial resources. You may also be asked to explain your plans for when your studies are finished. Always mention your plan is to return back to your country of origin upon completion of your degree. Keep the consular officer happy!
F-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your study start date, but you will not be allowed to enter the US earlier than 30 days before your start date. If you want to enter the US before these 30 days, you must qualify for and obtain a visitor visa. The 30-day limitation does not apply to students returning to resume studies – they may enter the US at any time, provided they have a valid visa. While your college and university career awaits you, this is only the beginning of a new and exciting venture in the USA. Your future is now in your hands.
Established in 1975, USA Rugby is the governing body of rugby in the USA and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee. Headquartered in Lafayette, Colorado, USA Rugby is responsible for development on all levels and has in excess of 120,000 active members across the youth, High School, College and Senior level.
USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and High School All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. It also hosts more than 30 national playoff and championship events each year as a service to its members. In 2018, USA Rugby welcomed the world for Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, the first-ever Rugby World Cup hosted on American soil. With more than 100,000 spectators, the tournament broke numerous American attendance records and has served as a platform for the game's future development.
Division 1A (D1A) is the elite collegiate rugby competition at University level in the USA and is governed directly by USA Rugby (not the NCAA like other sporting codes) and have begun rebranding as The Collegiate Rugby Association of America (CRAA) and aim to provide a home to the D1A and expand to include any and all college divisions and competitions, while allowing those divisions or other conferences to govern themselves.
The D1A conference-based league currently features 67 elite men’s college rugby teams competing in eight conferences: Big Ten, California, East, Mid-South, PAC, Red River, West, Liberty and two Independent teams. The regular season sees all teams in the conference play each other, with the league's 16 highest ranked teams qualifying for the postseason in East and West regions. Playoffs involve four single-elimination rounds of matches leading up to the D1A National Championship match, which takes place in early May.
Growth In College Rugby
In recent years college rugby had substantial growth in the US, most college rugby programs are student-run clubs with expenses covered by dues and fees paid by players, occasionally offset by access to school training facilities and equipment. However, there are a growing number of rugby scholarship opportunities and scholarships are available for both male and female players.
The first main factor contributing to the growth is that Major League Rugby (the professional rugby league in the USA, like the NFL & NBA) announced its first-ever Collegiate Draft to be held on June 13 and 14, 2020. The move represents another positive step for the growing Major League Rugby as it builds towards its fourth season in 2021.
The second factor is that over recent years, more and more college rugby programs are moving from club sides to funded varsity programs, with scholarship money available to recruit prospective players. Collegiate rugby has a rich history in the United States with over 900 active teams across the country. The immense talent in Colleges and Universities has shown itself over the past five seasons and is only poised to grow.
Thirdly, The Collegiate Rugby Association of America (CRAA) and Lax United Marketing, LLC (LUM) have agreed on an extraordinary three-year deal to bring D1A College Rugby to a massive television and digital audience. Lax United Marketing, via the brand FTF “For the Fans” will broadcast a minimum of 50 D1A rugby games per season over the course of the deal between the 2019-2022 seasons.
Rugby Recruiting Tips