With the amount of universities and study options available in the US, it’s not hard for students to be left frazzled by how to go about with the applications process. At a comprehensive seminar on Applying to Study in the US, at the US consulate in Mumbai, students and guidance counselors discussed 6 key points to make note of when you desire to apply to an American University –
This means asking yourself why exactly are you looking at a particular college(s)? What makes the college(s) stand out from others? The answer lies in your course of study. Look at which college(s) course offers what you want to study. Compare these colleges with each other and see which college suits you best. Also take into account factors such as campus life, faculty, extra-curricular activities, city, etc.
Have a pool of options
Don’t have your mind set on just one particular college, however great it may be. It is important to have a list of options, incase the other doesn’t work out. But don’t go overboard with this, in case you fear not getting into all. There will always be one college suited to you and your needs, which will accept your application. But the best part is that all courses at US universities are flexible by nature.
Stay true to your SOP
The Statement of purpose is what tells the admissions officials a little something about yourself, so it is important that your true personality shines through. Talk about an incident that changed your life, or a funny experience that could have probably taught you an important life lessons – the more personalized, the better. Do not ask someone else to write this for you, or copy-paste something off the internet. Remember, officials will be able to tell if they’re reading something that hasn’t been written by you.
Funding your course
Studying in the US comes at a heavy price, and you need to be able to pay for it (obviously!). However, if you cannot pay the entire amount, you need not worry. The best part about education in the US is that there’s always some kind of scholarship up for grabs. However, you need to have great academic scores to obtain this, and the amount you get will depend on how high the grades are. But you still have the option of getting your scholarship on a ‘need blind’ basis, which is where the university does not take into account of whether you need money or not. Each university has different paths of funding.
Admissions don’t just depend on your grades
It is true that there is a plethora of parameters for admissions into a US college, and your grades is merely one of them. Officials will also take into account your test scores, the extra-curricular activities you’ve taken up, any sort of social service, your achievements/awards, etc. However, if you don’t have any sort of extra curricular activities, it is wise to take up an internship, as it would show the officials that you have some sort of experience applying your education somewhere. Else, get yourself published in any reputed of journal, especially if you’re looking at a communications course.
Replying to universities
If you’re accepted into a university that you don’t want to go to, it is considered polite to revert to them saying that you don’t desire to accept your admission. Above all, doing so can free up your seat from someone who really wants to go to that university. If you’re wait-listed by a particular university, it is wise not to wait to secure a seat, and reject admissions from other universities in the process. Remember, being on the wait list means that you’re being ‘considered’, at the cost of waiting for someone else to reject their application. Each university has different time periods for when they wait to hear your decision, so make sure you get back to them accordingly.