In order to succeed in the real sense, every student who is desirous to go to the USA for higher studies should start the process at least a year and a half before he /she really lands there to start studies.
Here are some tips to begin your search for colleges. Start with the first thing first.
- Get the passport issued as soon as possible.
- Visit the nearest educational advising center and the library. Explore college sites on the web.
- Talk with family, friends, and acquaintances who have studied in the US. Write to 10-15 schools for information.
- Register for TOEFL and GMAT/GRE/SAT.
- Start preparing for the TOEFL exam and other admissions tests.
- Choose the schools to which you will apply.
- Request application materials if you have not already done so.
- Take the TOEFL and other admissions tests.
Please note: You must take the tests before November, or you will miss the deadlines for most universities. Taking the tests early gives you a chance to improve your scores by taking them again if required.
- Select the teachers you will ask for letters of recommendation and ask them to write letters of recommendation for you. Give them necessary forms and addressed envelope. In case of online recommendation, take the recommenders full name, telephone number and email id.
- Read the college applications and backtrack the deadlines to allow enough time to complete them. Please remember to allow enough time for delays in the mail.
- Narrow your list of schools to a maximum of 10 schools. This process of inclusion and elimination should be well thought out and should be based on the availability of the program, your goals, your academics and finally the demographics of the place.
- Write a draft of your application essays and statement of purpose. Get feedback on it from friends and a teacher who knows you very well. After feedback, incorporate necessary changes and complete the essays.
- Finish application forms, including the financial aid application forms (if applicable).
- Follow-up with your teachers and college/university administrative staffs to ensure all your transcripts and recommendations have been posted.
- Follow-up with the University to check for completeness.
- Respond promptly to any additional data that the school may want.
8-10 weeks from the time of application the US Universities start responding.