If you have decided to go to US for
your undergraduate study and need help on how to go about it, we list the procedure you
need to follow to get an admission.
1. Assess how much you can spend.
The total expenses on studying in US at the undergraduate level can range any where
between US Dollars 13000 to 25000 per year. So you are looking at expenses in the range of
US Dollars 50000 to 100000 for a four year Bachelors degree. The exact expenses can be
found after you have selected the universities you are planning to study in. Scholarships
for international students at the undergraduate level are very rare. So you will have to
make all the expenses on your own.
2. Start preparing and register for tests to be taken
You have to take the TOEFL and SAT for admission to an undergraduate course in the US.
Some universities may ask you to take the SAT2 for certain courses. Check on the tests,
start preparing, and register for the test. To know more about these tests, click on
TOEFL, SAT1, SAT2.
3. Decide on a course of study
If you are not one of those who knows what you want to do in your career, you have to make
up your mind. Consider what subjects you liked to study at school and what you want to do
in life. Talk to your parents or people who can help you decide, your teachers at school,
an uncle or a friend.
4. Shortlist universities
Most applicants first choose about 10 universities, request for their application
materials either by downloading application materials from their website or by requesting
the materials to be mailed to them from the webiste. They then narrow down their list of
universities to apply to about 5 universities. While shortlisting universities to apply,
you need to consider the following aspects.
- Grade Average or Ratings of applicants who secured
- Appropriateness of the program
- Popularity of the program and its faculty and
- Acceptance ratio of the number of students who applied
and who actually got admission.
- International Student Services
- Location and
- Ease of admission
5. Complete application forms
Check thoroughly the application requirements of all universities. List down documents
required to be attached with each application. Fill out a photocopy of the application to
make sure you don't make an error while filling out the application form that you have to
Besides the application form, you will have to attach the following documents:
a. Your Class 10th and 12th Marksheets, attested by your school Principal
b. Copies of your TOEFL and SAT scores
c. Documents to prove your financial capability to finance your education in the US.
Normally,an Affidavit of Support from your parent, and a statement from your parent's bank
showing the required funds. A letter from a Chartered Accountant certifying sources of
available funds and their amounts.
d. Letters of Reccommendation from your school teachers. The recommendations must be an
honest assessement about you and should mention your strengths and also weaknesses. They
should talk about your academic standing, motivation, personality and other issues.
e. Application fee in the form of a Dollar Demand Draft.
The above is a very general list of documents. You must ensure that you have attached all
required documents as mentioned in the university application form and prospectus.
6. Despatch Applications
The applications, complete in all respects must reach the universities before the
specified deadline. Documents with missing documents are not considered. You could
courier the documents, and consider that the documents will take atleast 10 days to reach.
7. Choose one university to join
After sending out the applications, you could hear from the university to furnish some
additional details or missing documents. Send them out immediately. You will receive a
letter of acceptance from universities which accept you for admission. You will receive a
form I - 20, which can be used by you to apply for a visa. From the universities you
have been selected into you will choose one university to join.
8. Apply for accommodation
Check on the on-campus accommodation and register for the same if you want to stay at a
hostel on the campus. You could also consider off-campus housing, but if you don't know
any one there, you could opt for on-campus accomodation at least in the beginning.
9. Prepare and apply for a visa
You will need to put together a list of documents before going for a visa. These are
normally, your I-20 Form, financial documents, Affidavit of Financial Support, Passport,
Visa application form, etc.