This article is intended for those who intend to enroll in an American University on the program of the first higher education, or send to your child.
There are several features that fundamentally distinguish the process of admission to higher education in the United States and Russia. And the main thing to keep in mind is the task of the admission to American University requires extra effort and preparing in advance.
In Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries that inherited Soviet system of education, admission to the Institute is a continuation of the "career" more or less time student and does not require additional effort, but work at a good school certificate and the results of the exam and also prepare for entrance exams to some universities.
1. The level of English language, General knowledge after school and of knowledge on the subject
Tuition at American universities is, of course, in English, at the time, as the average Russian level "school" English is often inadequate for either the mandatory language test TOEFL or IELTSor for the successful completion of General and subject tests SAT and ACT. But even a simple math problem for grade 7 can be solved incorrectly because of incorrectly interpreted the terms!
Also, oddly enough, there is a difference between language proficiency and the ability to take a test on it. Therefore, it is recommended to engage not only enhanced language training, and practice test on knowledge of the English language.
2. A good score in the certificate
The higher the rating and the average score of the certificate, which in the US is called the GPA, the more chances for admission to top universities.
3. Extracurricular activities, personal achievements
A significant factor when deciding on admission to many American universities will be the extracurricular activities of the applicant, from sports or the arts to social activities or volunteering. Accordingly, if time allows, try to formalize all the existing achievements, or even to acquire so.
Difference 2: the duration of the admission procedure
If in Russia the interval between leaving school and entering measured in weeks, applying to US universities can take more than a year. The choice of universities and study entrance requirements it is recommended to start in the summer, collection of documents and testing - fall, submission, usually before the end of the year, and the results will be known around mid-spring.
It should also be borne in mind the important feature of the American education system: it is well adapted to simultaneously apply to several or even many universities. At home high school graduates usually limit your choice of a specific institution, in the best case, leaving a few extra options. In the US, the number of suitable universities is likely to be significantly large, and the electronic system of submitting much easier entry to several universities.
Students aiming for admission is usually 1-2 "University of dreams", a few more or less satisfactory and a few more – just in case. Finally, there is "absolutely spare" option - enroll in community College.
Mandatory condition for the consideration of the application is the provision of from 1 to 3 motivational essay in which the applicant explains the admissions Committee your motivation to enter the University and to the program, talks about career and life goals and how education will help them to realize, represents your achievements and strengths - in education and in human terms.
The practice of creating such works for universities does not exist in the former Soviet Union. In addition, the Russian-speaking students often found it difficult to build the correct structure of the text, to select relevant facts and make a decision about the order of their presentation. That is why the cover letter is one of the most difficult and critical moments of training of the applicant.
From the entrants on creative specialties, in most cases, the universities require a portfolio, which also has its own characteristics and it takes quite a time.
You first need to determine the list of colleges to which you apply. The determining factors may be price, the level of requirements, the ranking of the University, specialization, for someone might be the location. Missing information can always be requested by e-mail or send the question you are interested in the University, with its page on our website.
Having defined the list of universities, we begin to collect the documents while planning the test.
1. Transcript. To enter you must submit a so called "transcript" - the transcript, translated into English, professional translation Agency or certified by a notary. As a rule, the transcript includes grades from 9 th grade.
2. Letters of recommendation from teachers. In addition to the transcript, you will need letters of recommendation from teachers. These letters must also be translated and certified. The required number of recommendations, usually from one to three varies from institution to institution. It should also be borne in mind that asking for recommendations could be your teachers by surprise, and its implementation will take time.
3. Essay. The applicant also needs to prepare one or more essays, answering the questions of the University. The questions may be different, often the University asks the candidate to talk about their life goals, to justify the choice of the United States, the particular institution and field of study. There is a lot of advice on writing motivational letters, here we will restrict ourselves wish not to consider this document as a mere formality, it is of great importance in making the University a final decision.
4. Guarantee of payment. The package of documents also includes the obligation of entrants or sponsor to pay for the entire period of study.
5. Additional documents. The application may be accompanied by additional documents, confirming the success of the applicant in any areas.
Test results on the TOEFL are valid for two years. The test can be held on a monthly basis, with poor results are allowed to cancel. Thus, the number of attempts to obtain acceptable result is limited only by the finances: the cost of the test is around $ 250, and this amount includes the results sent to 4 universities of your choice. To take the test at any authorized center in the major cities of Russia and Kazakhstan.
The SAT tests, the results of which, in fact, evaluated the ability of the candidate to study at an American University, the more difficult the language test. Some of your chosen universities may require not only the results of the main SAT Reasoning Test, including reading, writing and mathematics, but and subject tests SAT Subject. During the year, you can take only 6-7 attempts, each of which includes SAT Reasoning or one, or up to three subject tests. And only three of those attempts have in the fall. The SAT tests are also paid, depending on the configuration and number of universities – from 120 dollars and above.
Application for admission includes:
In many universities the application can be filled online on the website. You can also use the Common Application, which allows you to send the questionnaire to several universities. Via the Internet you can send and test results.
In addition, it should be remembered that the majority of universities considers the application on a paid basis. Application Fee can be up to $ 150. The exact number indicated on the website of the University.
Waiting for results can take from one to two months. In addition to inviting or failure, the College may report that you put in the waiting list, and in this case, the University most often referred to the term of the decision on your candidacy.Remember also that after receiving a response from the University you will, in turn, must formally confirm that they are ready to learn.