We urge students to start their admission processes as early as the beginning of class 12th, so we can not only guide you on the suitable universities for you, but also the kinds of activities you can undertake throughout the year to create a strong application.
Start preparing for your SAT /ACT/TOEFL/IELTS early so you can give more attempts in case the first one doesn’t go right.
Give a thought about the things you like to do and what you don’t, to choose the correct course.
While choosing a major, think about the subjects you like and dislike.
Ask yourself:‘I prefer a desk job or prefer going out in the field?’
Choose something that strikes the perfect match for your personality, interests and aptitude.
Evaluate the activities you have been participating in right from class 9 and think what you are good at!
If you have special interests like sports, theatre, dance etc., research on the clubs and activities the University has to provide so you can realize your full potential when you go there.
While you are selecting the universities, do not think you might be the only one with good credentials. We all know that even if you are 1 in a million, there are over 7,000 more people like you. Choose universities wisely and apply to a mix of ambitious and safe ones to hedge your risks.
Even if your SAT score or other test scores are low, don’t be disappointed. Sometimes students with excellent academic backgrounds and extracurricular activities are still admitted if their essays are good.
Don’t shortlist all your universities in one single favorite location or because you have a relative living in an area. This creates problems during the Visa as the officers get suspicious as to why you have applied to just one location.
Do not apply for early decisions if you are not sure about where you want to go.
College Application and Documentation
A deadline missed is a chance lost! Keeping track of the deadlines is crucial. Applying early has its own merits; applying within the first two rounds is what we advocate.
Reporting the official GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS score to universities is a must. This is done through the official websites of each official test.
Document requirements vary from university to university.Each and every document in the checklist must be complied with.
Sometimes universities have a separate requirement other than the common app! A check must be kept on that.
Be prepared to send the hard copies of your transcripts from class 9-12th to universities.
It is a great idea to maintain a log of your applications; what is done and what needs to be done.
Essays and More
Don’t try to be someone else in the essays and express exactly who you are. Don’t choose an essay topic you don’t care about or cannot relate to.
Don’t base your essays on what you think the admission committee wants to hear. Rather tell them what you want them to know.
Don’t try to imitate information that is already in your application form. Remember this is a chance for you to express something additional.
Watch the language; don’t be too formal or informal. While you obviously can’t use slangs and treat the admission officers as your friend, remember you don’t have to behave like a mature adult.
While your standardized test scores and high school grades tell the admission officers about your performance, essays provide the best opportunity for you to share something beyond the statistics of academics.
Be specific and don’t try to elaborate too much on a specific event.
Don’t recycle essays from the internet as this could lead to issues of plagiarism.
Activities Sheet and Community Activities
Keep in mind that the admission committee focuses on your activities grade 9 onwards!
Universities really appreciate students who have attended summer camps or exchange programs to garner leadership experiences. If you get a chance! Please do so.
To strengthen your applications, think of a few activities that you can take in your free time, summer breaks and/or winter breaks.
Try to choose a community activity that you are passionate about. Well if you can’t handle children, there is no point in going to an orphanage!
Choosing activities related to the major you desire to pursue is advantageous. This reflects your true passion for the subject.
Some universities offer summer-schools or programs for high school students. We encourage students to attend these programs as they provide an excellent exposure.
Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
Letter of recommendation should be taken from those teachers who know you well and not someone from a higher position.
Do not wait till the last moment to arrange for your letters of recommendation! Time is precious.
Make a list of your activities and accomplishments before you approach your recommender so that they can comment well on your candidature.
Inform your counselor about the universities you have applied to and keep in touch with them to check if they have written your recommendations.
Since most LORs today are to be submitted electronically (online) always have your recommender use the official school email ID rather than a personal Gmail/hotmail/yahoo email.
Just like your essays, don’t hesitate to talk about personal issues, life changing experiences or other compelling stories you want the admission committee to know.
Collect your thoughts on the frequently asked questions before the interview and have some mock sessions.
The admission committee is there to know more about you, not to judge you for personal choices.
For international students, the interviews often take place over Skype. Make sure you are in a quiet and comfortable room with no noise.
Before the interview, try and use Skype video chat for a few times if you have not used Skype recently.
Some universities ask for additional essays for scholarship. These must be brainstormed upon very carefully to convey the right message powerfully.
Scholarships are also granted on the lines how much of a contribution can you make to the University, hence the essays should showcase your profile well.
Many universities offer special scholarships like Women’s Leadership Scholarships, so definitely look out for these if you fit the bill!
Visa and Post Application process
After admissions, many times universities give you an access to a portal, where you can check the status of the admission or upload documents that were missing earlier, so a close check should be kept.
If you are waitlisted, take a wise call between waiting for that University or choosing the University that has already offered you acceptance. Talk to us to make a wise decision.
Make sure you ask the University for your I20 Document or CAS letter on time.
Please take your Visa form seriously and make sure all information is accurate. You cannot have the officers think you are trying to misinterpret any information.
When the visa officer asks you why you are going to the University you have got admission in, please don’t say ‘because it’s the best’ unless you are going to an MIT or Harvard. Be subtle and say because it suits your credentials the best.
Always be well informed about the facts & figures like the location of your University, tuition fees, modules, course duration etc. as these questions might be asked in the Visa Interview.
Be prepared for questions like ‘What are your long term goals?’ and ‘Are you planning to come back to your home country?’
Have a fair idea about the income, savings, turnover and the method of financing your education.