In all steps of the admissions process, it is important to pay attention the specific requirements of each university to which you are submitting an application. Do they use the Common Application? Do they require you to physically mail in documents, or to submit them online? These are important questions to consider before you begin the process of applying.Although U.S. educational institutions vary in their procedures and requirements for admission of students from other countries, formal applications usually include most of the following items:
- Institutional application form or Common App
- Certified copies of educational documents along with certified translations of these documents if not originally in English
- Evidence of English language proficiency
- Scores for any required academic entrance examinations
- Financial information, with applications for financial aid if requested
- Letters of recommendation from teachers
- Non-refundable application fee of $10-$75
If possible, begin working on your applications well before the deadline with the goal of submitting your completed applications before the closing date. Remember, the deadline for international students may be earlier than the deadline for U.S. students! Additionally, the institution may offer multiple deadlines: for example, Early Decision, Early Action, or Rolling Admission.
Once you have submitted your application, keep copies for your records of all documents and application forms submitted. It is also a good idea to keep a record of when and where physical materials were mailed.
In the weeks following your submission, make sure to check your email and respond promptly to any requests for additional information from any and all universities to which you have applied. These requests may be for specific course descriptions; additional information about your financial situation; or for an additional writing sample in English.
Are you applying to one or more of the 600+ U.S. universities who use the Common Application? Click here to learn more about how this procedure works for international students.