What Do I Need To Apply To US Universities?

August 5, 2021

What is it about the USA that makes it such a draw for university students? Maybe it's the attraction of living the American dream, or simply the irresistible idea of finding success in "the land of the free and home of the brave". Whatever it is, over 1 million international students choose to enroll at university in the USA each year. But how do you apply and ensure the highest chance of acceptance? In this blog, we outline what you need to apply to a university in the US.

Each U.S. university and college sets its own admission standards, and then decides which applicants meet them. With this in mind, it is always best to consider the many different aspects of your application to ensure that you are placing your best foot forward. Remember that you are competing with prospective international students from all over the world for a limited number of spaces.

Completing university/college applications can be a very daunting task. Universities will take into account a vast array of factors. These include your GPA and test scores, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and admission essays. You can reach out to the admissions offices of any school you're planning on applying to. This will help provide clarity on any submission guidelines for the materials mentioned above. They will also be able to tell you exactly what you need to apply to universities in the US.

Transcripts and Test Scores

U.S. universities and colleges usually base their admissions decisions on a student’s academic record and applicable test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT, or ACT. Your academic record will also include your high school transcripts. You can calculate your GPA from the marks in your grade 9 to 12 reports. You can do this yourself, or use an online GPA calculator like Aspire Atlantic's. Your GPA, coupled with your test scores, will be the basis for acceptance into any US university or college.

Ask the school you have most recently attended to mail a certified copy of your academic record or transcript to the colleges to which you are applying. Before you take your admissions tests, arrange for your official score reports to be sent to the universities or colleges that you are interested in.

Application Fee

The fee for each application is US$35 to US$100, but varies from college to college. Some colleges may not even charge an application fee, and the process will be free for the applicant. The fee covers the processing of your application and is non-refundable, even if you aren’t admitted to the school. If you mail your application, make sure to contact the admissions office to confirm your application was received.

Personal Statement and Supplemental Items

Some universities require you to submit an essay and other supporting documents. By now (August) most universities have already released their supplemental essay questions for the fall 2022 applications. It is therefore a good time for you to start brainstorming your answers to the essay questions.

For every college on your list, research clubs, organizations, sports, and even particular classes, research labs, or traditions you think sound exciting. This research can be crucial in helping you to imagine yourself at the college in question, helping you provide excellent motivation for applying. In addition, being specific in your supplemental essay responses can make you stand out from the crowd.

Use spare time efficiently

You should use the last few months of your final academic year to investigate your interests and passions. Consider how you can make an impact in your community through volunteer work, or how you can get involved in new social and cultural activities. Universities value your extracurricular activities when looking at your application. They take a keen interest in admitting those students who can bring unique experiences to their student body.

To remain ahead of the pack during this admissions season, stay focused, organized, and on top of tasks. If you do the research, you will know precisely what you need to apply to US universities. This will undoubtedly save you stress leading up to application deadlines. At Aspire Atlantic, this is exactly what we’re all about: ensuring your spot and giving you the best chance of starting your dream collegiate career in the US.

Remember, it’s always the perfect time to begin your journey towards studying at the university of your dreams. Sign up here for a free consultation with one of our recruitment experts. You could join over 300 student-athletes already placed in the USA, competing at the highest level and earning a world-class degree!


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