Applying to U.S. universities

Applying to U.S. colleges and universities is a very different process than applying to Indian universities. Most applications are online and students have a fairly wide window of time during which to complete their applications. Take your time in understanding the applications requirements before starting the process of applying to U.S. colleges and universities.

The main costs during the application process for studying in a United States university are: standardized tests, application fees (range from $30 to $100 per university), and postage/courier expenses.

Students applying to U.S. undergraduate must submit their applications directly to individual universities. Use of the Common Application, an undergraduate admissions application used by approximately 450 universities, can streamline the process since the member institutions all use the same core application. However, most institutions will request supplemental essays tailored to their university.

Examples of other common applications are:

  • The University of California application for admission to its various campuses.
  • The University of Texas application for admission to its various campuses

Each university will set their own application deadlines and fees, as well as admissions requirements. Fortunately, most application forms follow a similar format that allows you to reuse or adapt some of your application materials. 

A difference between the U.S. and other countries is that you are applying for admissions to the institution rather than to a specific department within a university. The undergraduate admissions office, rather than faculty members of academic departments, will likely be responsible for admissions decisions. It is crucial that you keep this audience in mind when drafting your application materials. The following requirements are common to most U.S. colleges and universities:

  • Electronic application – this can be from 2 to 8 pages, and seeks information about the student from biodata to family information
  • Test scores – SAT General, SAT Subject, TOEFL, and AP
  • High School information
  • Application Essays
  • Teacher Recommendations
  • Application fee
  • Interview – required by some competitive universities

For any query on U.S. higher education, call us on our EdUSA toll-free hotline 1800-103-1231 between 2pm and 5pm (Monday-Friday)