There are over 4,000 accredited universities and colleges in the United States. Yes, yes, exactly 4,000. Of course, there are many, among them there are definitely those that are right for you. What to do if you clearly decided to go to undergraduate studies in the USA? What are the features of income and where to start?
The higher education system in the USA is decentralized. This means that each university decides on its own which programs to lay out, which deadlines and requirements to put before students and what financial assistance to provide. The deadline for submitting documents for the fall semester usually ends in December-January of the previous year. Therefore, the preparation process for admission should begin in a year or two from the planned start date for training.
The first thing to do is start looking for colleges and universities. There are special search sites for this, with the help of which you select criteria that are important to you and then research higher education institutions for the search results.
In the United States, there are two options for obtaining a bachelor’s degree: with the help of 4-year colleges or universities, or first with the help of 2-year colleges. Having entered a 4-year college or university, you will immediately find yourself in a training program for future bachelors. The peculiarity lies in the fact that in the USA during the first 2 years of study you try different subjects and only at the 3rd year you will be asked to decide on your specialty.
But in two-year colleges, everything is somewhat different. They are usually less demanding of students and often do not even require SAT / ACT results. In addition, training there is many times cheaper than 4-year-old institutions, and immediately very practical oriented to your chosen specialty. After two years of study, you will receive an associate degree and you can go to work or transfer to the 3rd year of another college or university to receive a bachelor’s degree.
What documents do you need to collect for admission to the bachelor’s program?
- Firstly, these are test results. IELTS or TOEFL are tests for knowledge of the English language. The only difference between them is the build format. Therefore, choose what is more convenient for you and do not pay attention to stereotypes. Also often, American colleges and universities require SAT or ACT results – these are comprehensive tests for readiness for undergraduate studies. They include assessments of knowledge in mathematics, vocabulary, reading and analytical thinking.
- Also prepare transcripts from school.
- Agree on 2-3 letters of recommendation, depending on the requirements of your universities.
- Write a motivational essay. This is not the most important part of the application package, but treat it very carefully!
- If you enter creative specialties, then it is worth preparing a portfolio.
Usually, all of these documents are submitted online, through the university’s website or platform: Common Application or Coalition Application. You will fill out a large and very detailed questionnaire in which you need to describe your life and training up to this point. After that, you will choose the universities to send this application to, fulfill additional requirements, for example, write additional essays, and submit.
You will receive a response from the university tentatively in March-April. The University can accept you for study, refuse or put you on the waiting list. On admission, a college or university will also provide information on next steps. A waiting list means that in a few weeks, if someone who is accepted refuses, you will be invited to be one of the first to study at this institution.
Often we are asked if it is possible to enter the USA for undergraduate studies if you are already studying for 1-2-3 courses at the university?
So it is possible. But keep in mind that most universities will not accept you in their first year and will simply say transferring from your university. This will require a simpler package of documents, but the difficulty is that there are very few scholarships for students who are being translated. So, the main source of funding should be the funds of your family.
Therefore, if you are very interested in entering US educational institutions, but do not have time to submit documents before graduation, it is better to skip the year by taking the so-called Gap Year than to go to university only “so as not to lose time.”
Of course, each situation is unique in its own way, because EducationUSA advisers in Kazakhstan are always ready to help answer the question and develop your strategy for successful admission to colleges and universities in the USA. Ask for free, one-on-one consultation or apply for group membership programs from EducationUSA, your official source for higher education information in the United States.