How to apply for UG Program in US Universities

This featured article illustrates important factors to consider before applying for admission in a university in the US. Key factors involving the entire admission process are illustrated here. This is a guide that answers all questions about getting admission in a US university.

If you are an international student planning on pursuing an undergraduate program at a university in the USA, you need to start your preparations a year and a half prior to the classes beginning in September/October. Here's a timeline on how to move ahead with the procedure in the most effective manner.

January -March (Previous Year)

Students looking for placements in a UG program should consider starting their research on different universities and the courses offered by them. By the last week of March, you need to have zeroed in on at least double the number of universities that you actually plan to apply to.

April - August (Previous Year)

This is the time when registrations start and the relevant tests need to be taken to seek admission the universities of choice. Once you have your scores, you can opt for the preferred universities based on the score criteria set up by various universities.

August - December (Previous Year)

By August, a major share of the universities in the US would have initiated the application process for UG programs. There is usually more than one deadline. The early deadline for application comes in November while the standard deadline for application comes in the first week of January. Put simply, this is the time when applicants are required to work on their statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, essay, attested transcripts, and other documentation. The completed applications forms need to be sent during this time period.

January - May (Current Year)

This is the time when universities send out letter of acceptance. As an applicant to a UG program in the US, it is your responsibility to read through and understand what these universities are offering and reply back with a confirmation or declination letter. You need to look at the financial alternatives provided and arrange the relevant financial documents required by the respective universities.

May - August (Current Year)

This is the phase where you need to take the necessary steps prior to stepping on to US soil for an undergraduate program in an American university. This includes the arrangements for visa application, and procuring all the documentation that pertain to financial assistance, application forms, and other important documents, and you also need to make the necessary travel and accommodation arrangements. You need to make an appointment for the US Embassy. This needs to be done at least 120 days prior to classes starting.

Tests that are required for admission into UG Programs in US Universities

These tests form the crux of the entire admission process for undergraduate programs at US Universities. They can be academic tests or exams to test language proficiency. The most common tests are:

  1. SAT/ACT - These tests evaluate the general skills and capabilities that have been acquired over the course of a student's academic period. They evaluate the thought process, problem solving skills, and communication skills.
  2. TOEFEL/IELTS/PRE - These tests are designed to evaluate the level of proficiency in the English language.
  3. AP Tests: These tests facilitate the acquirement of advanced knowledge pertaining to a specific field prior to formal studies are commenced at a US university.

The admission application process for undergraduate programs in the US

The application process is generally executed online. You can apply directly to the university, via the Common Application or through the Universal College Application. Each university has its specific rules, deadlines, and admission criteria. The fees for application can start anywhere from $30 to $400 depending on the university chosen.

What is included in the admission application package for Undergraduate Programs in US?

  • The admission application form is available online and seeks information on the student's basic bio and information about immediate family members
  • Test Scores
  • Information on the student's high school
  • Application essays
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Fees for application
  • Admission interview

Financial assistance for undergraduate programs in the US

The costs associated with pursuing an undergraduate program in the US have risen significantly over the years. Tuition costs alone can come to anywhere from $3000 to $40,000, and living expenses can further hike the cost by anywhere from $7000 to $24,000.

You need to plan ahead and start thinking of ways to finance your US undergraduate dream right when you research for various universities. You can search out options that can provide you an advantage such as sports performances or scholarships that are provided on merit, loans for specific communities, and various other options. If you look carefully, you will definitely find something that works in your favor.

Here are some ways to cut down on costs while pursing your UG program in the US
  • Be on the lookout for public universities that offer courses at lower tuition costs.
  • Choose universities at a location where cost of living is comparatively low, such as suburban locations in the Midwest.
  • You can find universities that provide grants on a need basis.
  • Merit based scholarships are provided by several universities. This is also an option.
  • You can also opt for a 2+2 program where you go for Community College classes in the first two years where costs are considerably lower and then move on to a university in the final year.

The most common visas for education are:
  • F-1 Student Visa
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

You need to go through US embassy's documentation regarding security information and make necessary plans to get to the Embassy. Certain documents need to be procured for the interview. These include the passport, appointment letter, I-20 or DS-2019, MRV receipt, DS-160, recent photograph, SEVIS receipt, and other documents as required. You will receive the visa and passport within a working day week

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer publishing with Constant Content and sister sites of Techulator. She writes on a variety of subjects that interest her. She is a voracious reader and that helps her keep abreast with the latest in technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eng. Lit, is a mom, a wife, a homemaker and a qualified teacher.

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