You can register online or by phone or by mail. The detailed information about registering for the GRE can be found at www.yocket.in
Extracurriculars are always an add-on to your profile. Any achievements at the state or national and international level are considered important. Working for social causes such as for an NGO or charity trusts on a regular basis
Here are some of the other things you should be finishing soon.
Each student applying to the United States for their undergraduate studies is required to fill some sort of application form. A large amount of universities came together and decided that they could have a common component in their applications. The Common Application is that common component. It consists of all your personal information, academic records, extracurriculars and an essay. Each college has its own section on the Common App and you choose which ones you apply to with a simple click of a button. Some colleges may have supplementary materials in addition to complete their application.
Note: Not all colleges are on the CommonApp! The list will be given in the next section.
So you started your CommonApp but you realized that some of the Universities you want to apply to are not on the CommonApp! That doesn’t mean you can’t apply to them it just means that those Universities have their own separate application process. This doesn’t mean that the University is better or worse than CommonApp schools or even that the application will be very different. This probably means that these schools want your information in a different format for their admissions officers to read.
List of Top Ranked Universities not affiliated with the Common Application
Rutgers University (All Campuses)
University of California (All Campuses)
University of Florida (All Campuses)
University of Texas (All Campuses)
This is one of the most important steps in your application process. Picking the colleges you are applying to. Below you will find some factors used by a majority of applicants to choose the colleges they apply to. After that you can double check your list by making sure you have a good ratio of schools where you have a good chance of admission, an average chance of admission and a low chance of admission.
Planning to pursue higher studies in USA often gets complicated as one doesn’t know on what basis he/she should select a university. Selection of a university depends on the following factors:
Your Major is the most important factor in picking Universities. If you have a general idea or even an exact plan about what you want to do in college, pick colleges that have a good department for your major. This doesn’t mean you go down a list of rankings for the major. If you have friends/seniors who are at the college doing a similar program, talk to them and ask them about the department. Other than that make a list of 30 odd schools and go on each school’s website and see the programs each department has.
Placements are always at the back of our head when we think of colleges. Most of us want internships while we’re still in college and jobs when we finish. We have a few companies in mind and we have a few internships in mind. An important factor to check is that companies where you want to work/intern actually come to your school looking for future interns and employees. If it is your dream to work a Deloitte but they don’t recruit at your school, it’s going to make reaching your goal harder.
3. Tuition and Living Cost
Cost is a big concern when students go to the US. Some universities cost USD 36,000 a year while others can hit up to USD 70,000 for just tuition. Living in a city is usually more expensive than living in a college town removed from civilization for 40 miles all around. These are the factors that you should consider when choosing a university. On average Public Universities (Colleges that are associated with State or Federal Governments) are cheaper than Private Universities.
Location, Location, Location. Not only is it a real estate mantra but also an important college choice factor. If you think you’ve lived in Bombay and you cannot be productive with 3 months of temperatures dipping below freezing point pick a college on the West Coast. If you think a Delhi girl like yourself needs a city life to survive, do not apply to colleges where the closest city is a 5 hour bus ride away. If you’re into Investment Banking think of a university in New York or if you’re a Techie think of a University near Silicon Valley.
5. Class Size
Class size is very important once you reach colleges. Some college classes will have one professor addressing a group of 17 students on a round table. Others will have a professor with a mike addressing a hall of 700+. You need to think of which environment is most conducive to your academic growth. If you need more personal attention to thrive, pick a college with a graduating class size of about 1000-2000 people. If you can handle huge classes and enjoy the variety of opinion think bigger. Make sure you can thrive in that environment, and you can apply to universities with a graduating class size between 4000 and 6000. Another aspect that you must consider is that are you comfortable with 40,000 other people on your campus or do you want a smaller population where everyone know everybody (sort of) of around 3000.
6. Acceptance Rates
Your dream school only admits 200 international students a year. Does that mean you don’t apply? Not at all! Just remember that there is a higher chance that you may be rejected. It is important to make sure you are not super ambitious with your list. Do not fill it with a group of super-popular and super-hard-to-be-accepted-in (Reach) Universities. Leave spots for colleges where you think you have a guaranteed chance (Safes) and colleges which you think are at your level (Targets). An ideal list will have about 40% Reach Schools, 40% Target Schools and 20% Safety Schools.
Weather factors into the whole Location thing. The East Coast gets snow from late October to mid-February. The West Coast gets practically no snow and has sunny weather year long. In some places it gets so cold that frostbite warnings are issued. In states like Washington it rains about 9 months a year. Consider if weather affects your mood and activity patterns. Keeping all that in mind choose colleges where you can survive. That said, there are people who adapt like chameleons. This may not be as big a factor for them.
8. People and Lifestyle
Every year Huffington Post and several other agencies release rankings that are very important. “The Happiest Colleges in the US”, “Colleges with the Happiest Freshmen”, etc. The lifestyle at the college will grow on you but it is your duty to see if you will fit in or stick out. If you go on the Class of 20XX group of any university on Facebook you can see the type of people who are accepted and the type of people who attend. You need to know that you can make friends and spend 4 years at the college being happy. Pick Universities that excite you. Where you think you will find like-minded people who you can cherish for life.
I know what you’re thinking… how is this a factor? The truth is, no matter how much you think it is not going to happen, you are going to fall homesick a few times. If you don’t have any relatives in the US then I guess this isn’t a factor but if you do, it’s nice to have them close. They could be in the closest big city or the neighboring state. Trust me, driving to your Mausi’s house on the weekend for hot Paranthas is the best feeling!
Once you have taken all these factors under consideration, you should have a short list of around 10 universities that you are ready to apply to!
You can apply to as many universities as you wish, with only one factor restricting you, MONEY! Yes, the cost is pretty heavy on your pocket. On an average each college application costs you around USD 120. Sure you want to know what costs so much. The split is as follows:
- - OR - -
Now, there is no rule book to how many universities an applicant should consider and whether it's easy or difficult to get in but generally, students apply to 8-10 universities with 4 Reach, 4 Target and 2 Safeties (Huh?!? What’s this??)
TOEFL/IELTS is a test of your English skills. It is required by most of the Universities for admission as the primary language for India is Hindi. But you can always check with individual universities for the English test waiver parameters.
If you have spoken and written English for your years in high school you need not waste any time in preparation. The TOEFL is offered on a few days every month so find a suitable date and go take the test. It tests your Writing, Speaking and Reading Comprehension. There is no ‘ideal time’ as of such as TOEFL scores are valid for 5 years. Take it anytime in your 11th or 12th grade.
So on the CommonApp, each University has a page where you select one/two teachers who will write Letters of Recommendations for you.
A Letter of Recommendation is written by a teacher to a University about a student. In the letter, the teacher highlights why the University should accept the student giving details about how the student is in class and what the student can contribute. These letters are usually written by teachers who students have a good and healthy relationship with. It helps if the relationship has been a longer one with constant interaction. For example a teacher who has taught you for 5 years will have a more weighted opinion than someone who taught you for 3 years but hasn’t taught you in the last two years.
Make sure you establish a good relationship with the teacher who you want a recommendation a while before you ask them to write one. It is important you know how to butter them without coming across as a sycophant.
It is suggested that you waive the right to see the letter but it is your responsibility that the teacher sends the recommendation to the counsellor on time! You do not want a missing Letter of Recommendation when you’re sending out applications.
Make sure that before you start sending off your documents, you check your grades. Colleges want your grades from the 9th to how much ever of 12th you have finished. While your school may keep an academic record, it is important that you take all your report cards to school one day and cross reference your grades/scores on your transcript with your report cards. Make sure that everything is reflected correctly before giving the okay to your counsellor to send them off.
There are few Universities which require the financial documents with the application and few universities need it after you have been admitted to the college and wish to enroll. Frankly speaking, arranging this document isn’t very difficult. Firstly, you need to know how much are you and your family/guardians are willing to pay, or in other words, how much can you spend for the next two years in USA (roughly around USD 100,000). Talk to your bank manager and get attested copies of the bank statement which is a proof of your financial solvency.
This is a document highlighting your achievements. It usually consists of your academic achievements, SAT/ACT, AP and TOEFL scores, Co-curricular and extracurricular activities and any awards in them, explanation of your academic projects and personal details. You must add skills like the number of languages you speak, whether you know any coding languages, any musical instrument, etc.
Keep your resume to one side of an A-4 size paper. As you’re still a high school student you are not assumed to have “achieved” much. Only put in your most relevant awards and achievements. Making a resume too long is a common mistake of most people.
Yocket is the largest regional online community for students with a desire to pursue higher education abroad.
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