3 Essential Considerations for International Students Wishing to Apply to U.S. Schools – Part 1
If you are an international student looking forward to finish your undergraduate degree in the U.S., then make sure to have everything in order before even considering admission. And nowadays might be among the best moments to apply for a U.S. school, since after the U.S. economy suffered the crisis of a few years ago, not only have the costs of higher education risen, but people in the U.S. are also more averse to spend in higher education, even if applying for a personal loan is easier now.
Thus, while this has led to fewer local students applying to school, there is one group that keeps applying in the same numbers and who now has a greater chance than before: international students.
For example, the Washington, D.C. Council of Graduate Schools found that last year, the first-time enrollment for international students in the country increased by as much as 8 percent, which was widely known to be the largest increase in 5 years. This clearly shows that more and more international students are looking forward to earn a graduate degree in the United States. However, before even thinking of applying to a school in the U.S., there are a few important issues that every student will need to address beforehand.
Let’s take a look at the first two ones and leave the third one for our next entry.
1. Academic Certifications:
One of the biggest hurdles that foreign students need to overcomes besides getting a personal loan for their financing, is to determine what is the equivalent academic degree in the U.S. that represents the level of education received in their home country. This comparison is usually quite hard to estimate. A fact that becomes even more complicated due to a complete lack of established guidelines that should be applied to all institutions across the world.
Funny enough, foreign people applying for personal loans have it a lot easier than those applying for a spot in a school in the U.S. Still, it is absolutely critical to first find out if the exact equivalent of your college degree in the U.S. to be eligible for admission. If you run into trouble matching your college degree or fulfilling any of the requirements, remain calm, be patient and keep working with the admissions office of the U.S. college you are applying for. In the end it will be a lot easier than applying for a personal loan.
2. Certification of English Language Proficiency:
In the past, this used to be one of the major hurdles for students applying for other personal loans, student loans or colleges. Recently though, thanks to the widespread of the language and to a standardized set of tests, like the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the chances for students willing to apply to U.S. colleges has risen a lot.
In this test, all scores are standardized, which means that every U.S. college can rehire a minimum knowing what English level a student will need in order to be able to study there. Minimum scores are variable depending on the institution of course, and this also gives students a fairly good idea of how high their English level will need to be in order to be accepted in the school of their choice.
Most schools in the U.S. will accept student who get a score of at least 650 in the TOEFL exam. Sometimes they might accept a 645, but it is not that often.
That’s it for now. Keep an eye on our next post, where we discuss another essential aspect of a foreign student applying for a U.S. school: Financial aid, including personal loans and such.