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International Students

How to Apply to College

How to Apply to College

It is important for international students not to underestimate the application process for college. It requires a lot of time and effort, making sure that you have completed the process with no mistakes. The best way to get through the application process is to set yourself a schedule, which begins ahead of the time you start thinking about planning for your studies. This article goes through the important steps on how to apply to college.

The earlier you begin planning for your application process, the more time you will have. It is crucial that you provide yourself with enough time to meticulously research the college and/or course that you feel will best suit you and your future desires. There will be college sites and other academic platforms that will provide you with a quick application form to fill in, but prior to filling in the application it is important to do your research on possible destinations, contact teachers for possible recommendations that they could be able to provide you with to expand your options and sign up to entrance exams that you may be obliged to take to fulfill your application.


  • 18 Months Before Studying:
  • Do large amounts of research on the different college degree programs and pick out the ones that you find interesting
  • Do some preparation for possible entrance exams
  • Get some useful advice on admissions from an educational consulting company
  • 12-14 Months Before Studying:
  • Decide which colleges you want to apply to
  • Gather all the necessary information you need from previous schools you have attended
  • 10-12 Month Before Studying:
  • Pick out references and provide them with the necessary reference forms
  • Draft up an application
  • 9 Months Before Studying:
  • If required, re-take entrance exams
  • Organize financing
  • Write up and submit your finished applications
  • 3 Months Before Studying:
  • Apply for a student visa
  • Plan your travel arrangements for when you enter the United States
  • 1 Months Before Studying:
  • Purchase any useful tools you will need for studying and living

If you follow this timeline of steps, you will have a smooth and stress-free application process.

Standardized Tests

The majority of colleges within the U.S. require you to complete standardized admissions tests prior to entering their institutions as a student. These tests include: SAT, MCAT, GRE, TOEFL and IELTS. For more information regarding these tests visit the Shorelight guide on international standardized tests.

Credential Evaluators

Across the U.S. every college has a different curriculum. When accepting international student into their institutions, many colleges require you to provide them with documents about your previous school’s status to be able to verify your application. This is the stage where credential evaluators fall into. You may be required to submit transcripts to a credential evaluator who will look over the documents as well as translate them if needed so that they can be given to the host nations curriculum to be reviewed.

The application process for college is a process which needs significant planning and a lot of time taken into it. The more time used to focus on your application process will equal a much smoother process. If you do not plan well enough for your application, then you will not have enough time for some of the requirements and therefore you will be stressed out even before you begin your studies. Therefore, it is important you make sure you set yourself a schedule for your application process that begins well in advance. If you follow these key steps then you will have a better understanding on how to apply to college.

SEE ALSO: How to Get a Student Visa

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