Study in the USA steps for undergraduates and challenges?
There are two ways which you can apply to the universities in USA
The common app, which has around 75% of American universities, like the UC application (UC Berkley, UC Irvine etc) and the Coalition portal. For universities on the common app and the coalition portal, they each require one common essay which goes to each university, as well as supplemental essays for university specific applications. The main essay is known as the Common App essay/ Coalition essay which are approximately 650 words. Requirements to apply are academics, essays, extracurricular activities, and entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT.
There is also an option where you can directly apply to universities through their websites. Typically, students applying to the USA apply to around 4-5 universities.
There are different deadlines – early decision, early action and regular decision.
Top ten challenges for students and Counselors
- Meeting university requirements. Many undergraduate degree programs require specific grades as well as certain subject requirements in order to start applying. It is important that students take note of this early on in the college admission process.
- Writing well crafted essays/personal statements whilst balancing school work.
- Balancing academics alongside extracurricular activities. Universities, especially in the USA, appreciate students who take time out of school to engage in other extracurricular activities, such as leading a club, or being captain of a sports team. It is really important that students are also engaged in non-academic projects to improve their soft skills and showcase leadership, teamwork and communication skills.
- Making consistent efforts to improve current applications/essays and make the application stand out in a unique way.
- Selecting universities and shortlisting specific schools which fit exactly into their requirements for: Tuition fees, location, ranking, degree structure, teaching style, university campus features, course specific requirements/grades
- Managing the university requirements for a large amount of students. Each student is unique, and it is a challenge at times to remember the individual needs and requirements for every student and their family
- Reminding students the dates for certain applications to be submitted. For example remembering that the UCAS deadline is January 15th, and individual schools in the USA have specific application deadlines.
- Recommending universities based on students likes and interests. Also being creative and suggesting other universities which they may have not thought about during the application.
- Managing the needs and requirements of the student as well as managing the needs and requirements of the parents of the students.
- Ensuring that certain admissions tests such as the SAT/UCAT/entrance exams have been taken by the student