American university enrollment

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references

Phases and times

  • Choose the university 12-18 months in advance
  • Pass the admission tests 12 months in advance
  • Request the application form 12 months in advance
  • Submit the application form 8-9 months in advance
  • Accept the admission offer 3-4 months in advance

Choose the university

There are about 9.000 American colleges and universities. To orient yourself in the choice of the university it is possible to consult publications and websites. Formulate, based on the field of study, a first list of universities (four / five institutions) and make an evaluation based on the following elements:

  • admission / selectivity criteria
  • accreditation
  • teachers
  • costs and availability of financial assistance
  • size of the university, resources and facilities available (library, computers)
  • geographical location, location, climatic conditions and cost of living, types of accommodation available
  • specific services for foreign students
  • Carefully evaluate your academic and professional goals. The catalogs and the numerous rankings available do not provide information on the best university, as the concept of "best" can vary according to the individual priorities and interests of the student.

Pass the admission tests

Approximately 12 months before the start of the academic year, take the tests required for admission to undergraduate courses: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or ACT (American College Test).

Submit the application form

Fill in the application form and send it with the required documentation.

Send the application forms and the required documents by the deadline indicated by the university. By deadline we usually mean the date by which the Office of Admissions must receive the application and not the postmark.

The deadlines are generally between December and March for the fall term (semester that starts in September and ends in mid-December), and between September and November for the spring term (semester that starts in mid-January and ends at the end of May). ). Not all universities provide for the admission of students for the spring term. Documents to be included in the application form:

  • educational qualification (transcripts)
  • certified with TOEFL official score report
  • certificate with the score (official score report) of the required admission test (SAT I, SAT II or ACT)
  • programma di studio (statement of purpose o personal statement)
  • financial information (financial statement)
  • any request for financial aid (financial aid form)
  • reference letters
  • application fee: on average between 50 and 100 dollars

Qualification (transcripts)

High school diploma and report cards from the last two years (the number of years may vary depending on the university). If enrolled in the first years of a university course in Spain, also send the certificate with all the exams taken and the grade. The documents must be copies of the originals, certified by the university with a sworn translation in English. Academic qualifications do not need to be translated.

Programma di Studio (statement of purpose o personal statement)

Describe the reasons for choosing a particular discipline, the program, the reasons why the chosen university meets your expectations and, if possible, your professional goals. Before preparing the statement of purpose, a fundamental element in the evaluation of the Office of Admissions, read up on the university catalog about the characteristics and requirements of the program. The document must be written in English and is indicative of the candidate's linguistic knowledge.

Financial information (financial statement)

Certify the economic availability to finance the first academic year. Specify the source of the loan by listing the personal funds (certified by a bank statement, official in English, issued by the bank where the student or his family is a current account holder) and possibly the amount of financial aid (proven by a official letter from the institution that will award the scholarship).

Request for financial aid (financial aid form)

Fill in the appropriate forms (financial aid forms), and send them to the university within the terms indicated. The aid available is partial and must be understood as completing one's personal funds.

Cover letters (reference letters)

To be requested from professors able to express an opinion on the student's abilities in the chosen studies, his maturity, aptitude for study, motivations. In the event that the student has already had significant work experience, he can also present a letter from the employer. The letters (whose number, specified in the application, is generally three) must clearly show the name and surname as well as the title of the signatory and must be written in English, or translated and authenticated.

Accept the offer of admission

The admission offer is sent in the period from March to May for the fall term starting at the end of August. Once the student receives confirmation of acceptance, the university sends the “Certificate of Elegibility”, for the issue of the study visa. At the same time, the student will receive from the Housing Office information on accommodation possibilities within the university campus (on-campus) and outside it (off-campus), in a residence or family.

These resources may vary according to the geographical location of the university. To reside in university dormitories, book with the appropriate forms (housing application) by the deadline indicated. Some universities require freshmen, i.e. first year students, to reside on campus. For off-campus accommodation, arrangements can be made upon arrival, before the course starts.

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