Have any questions?

Understanding the student’s aspiration, their academic performance and their financial need is crucial to the university admission process. Scholarly makes an upfront effort to understand the gap between where the student is right now and where they need to be, in order to get admitted to their Dream University.

In this section, students will find relevant resources for Profile Building along with a treasure trove of information about studying abroad.

International Education

Why should I consider international education?

Why should I consider international education?

The best educational opportunities may not necessarily be near you. Learning from the best teachers and interacting with sharp and ambitious students is an important part of higher education. Traveling, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, widens your horizons and teaches essential life skills. Also, in today’s world all routine jobs are getting automated. As such, the ability to learn new things and strong people skills are even more crucial.

Which countries are popular with students seeking international education?

The USA has the world’s largest international student population, with more than one million students. Other popular destinations are UK, Canada, Australia and Germany.

How should I decide where to study?

You should consider your field of study and your long-term career aspirations. For example, a finance or business professional may well aspire to work at the Wall Street while a technology professional may want to work in Silicon Valley. You should consider colleges with an established track record of students being placed in your desired career. In general, good well-rounded higher education greatly enhances your ability to move between countries, companies and careers.

US Education System

Tell me about the US higher education system.

What are dual degrees and articulation agreements?

Some colleges provide their students the option of earning a dual degree under articulation agreements with other colleges. In such cases, the students are admitted and complete their studies at the first college. Subject to meeting academic standards, the student is accepted into the second college and completes the remainder of their studies. Upon successful completion, the student may earn a bachelor’s degree in Science from the first college and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the second college. These programs may be 3-3 or 3-2 programs between cooperating colleges and universities.

What is the difference between US public universities and private universities?

Public universities normally receive a portion of their funding from the government. Whereas, private universities do not get funding from the government and generate most of their funding from tuition and endowments. Private universities may be non-profit or for profit.

Are public universities better than private universities or vice versa?

There is no generic answer. There are highly ranked public as well as highly ranked private universities and colleges. For example, the Ivy Leagues are all private non-profit universities while the University of Michigan and UCLA are public universities. You will need to consider the rankings for the university and the specific program you want to pursue.

What is the state university system in the US?

The state university system is a group of public universities supported by individual states. These systems constitute most of the public-funded universities in the country. Each state supports at least one such university.

What are community colleges?

Community colleges, sometimes referred to as junior colleges, technical colleges or two-year colleges are public institutions providing continuing education. They grant certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. After graduating from a community college, a portion of the students transfer to a four-year regular college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree.

What are STEM courses, and what are the benefits of studying these courses?

STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Most people agree that STEM is the key to innovation and job creation. As such, the US government considers STEM education important in making the United States more competitive in the global economy.

What is OPT?

OPT is an acronym for Optional Practical Training. Undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status, who have either completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months, are eligible for paid internships in their field of study. In general, 12 months of OPT is permitted for students on F-1 visas. However, for certain STEM courses, the students may be granted a 24 month OPT extension.

What is a liberal arts education?

Liberal arts refer to college studies that provide general knowledge and develop the student’s intellectual ability. This education provides a strong background for the student to work in a variety of fields or to pursue graduate studies in law or business. Some of the subjects that a student may study in a liberal arts college are economics, literature, languages, philosophy, psychology, science and math. For example some of the highest ranked colleges in America are liberal arts colleges, such as the Ivy Leagues.

I have often heard that the US higher education system is quite flexible. Please explain what this means, and how does it benefit the students?

Some examples of flexibility are, (1) Several US universities permit an undeclared major. This enables the student to begin their college studies without having to select a program in which to major. This way, the student can discover their interests and strengths by taking courses from a variety of disciplines prior to declaring a specific major. (2) Most universities permit students to choose from several elective courses. Depending on their field of interest and within certain constraints, the student can decide which courses they want to study. (3) Almost a third of all students swap institutions at least once before earning their degree. The reasons for the transfer could be looking for a stronger program in their major, attending a higher ranked college or not finding the college to be a good fit.

Universities to Apply

To which universities should I apply?

To how many US colleges should I apply in order to maximize my chance of admission?

International students applying to US colleges generally submit ten (10) applications. Of these, five (5) are reach schools; three (3) are match schools; and two (2) are safety schools.

What are reach schools?

If your academic profile and scores are below the 25th percentile of the enrolled students at a college, it’s considered a reach school.

What are match schools?

If your academic profile and scores are between the 25th and 75th percentile of the enrolled students at a college, it’s considered a match school.

What are safety schools?

If your academic profile scores are higher than 75th percentile of the enrolled students at a college, it’s considered a safety school.

What is an Honors program?

Several US universities have two tracks: a regular program and an Honors program for stronger students. The Honors program normally has higher entrance requirements as well as higher ongoing GPA and academic requirements to stay in the program. In general, Honors programs signify more challenging course work and a higher academic standard within the same college or university.

What are dual degrees and articulation agreements?

Some colleges provide their students the option of earning a dual degree under articulation agreements with other colleges. In such cases, the students are admitted and complete their studies at the first college. Subject to meeting academic standards, the student is accepted into the second college and completes the remainder of their studies. Upon successful completion, the student may earn a bachelor’s degree in Science from the first college and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the second college. These programs may be 3-3 or 3-2 programs between cooperating colleges and universities.

Admission Deadlines

Admission deadlines and when to apply?

When do classes start in the US?

There are two primary semesters. Classes for the Fall semester start around the end of August, and classes for the Spring semester start in April. Most students start their college education in the Fall semester.

What are the application deadlines?

Application deadlines for many colleges and universities are 8 – 10 months before the start of classes. Some colleges and universities see a very high number of applications, so it’s important to apply timely and strategically. For example, for several colleges starting in the Fall of 2021, the application deadline may be January 1, 2021, and the early action deadline may be November 1, 2020.

What is the National College Decision Day?

May 1st is the deadline by which students, who have been offered admission, must select one college and provide a deposit.

What is Early Decision?

A student can select one college as their Early Decision choice usually by November. The student can continue to apply to other colleges under regular admission plans. Colleges normally notify students of early admission decisions by December. If and when the student is accepted by their Early Decision college, they must withdraw all other applications and send a non-refundable deposit.

What is Early Action?

A student can apply early and receive an admission decision early in the admission cycle (usually by February). The student does not have to commit upon receipt of offer and can give the college a decision by May 1.

Dream Universities

How should I prepare to get admitted to my dream University?

What can I do to improve my chances of admission to my dream university?

At the highest level, colleges want students who will succeed in their studies and beyond. Colleges use your High School scores/GPA, SAT scores, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, class rank and interests to judge your readiness to attend their school. Will you be able to handle the academic rigor of their classes?
Colleges are also assessing your potential as a graduate of their school. Are you someone who could become a CEO? Win the Nobel Prize? Become a Prime Minister? Colleges use your extracurricular activities, application essays and your letters of recommendation to judge your focus and future potential. Additionally, for international students, most colleges place a high weight on English language proficiency.
While there is no single answer, if you can demonstrate suitable academic credentials, leadership skills and an interest in your field of study, it will improve your chances of getting admitted.

When should I start preparing for US college admissions?

If you are an international student aspiring for admission to a US College, by end of Grade 9 you should have some idea of your field of study (finance, math, science, engineering, law, liberal arts, business) and what type of university you would like to attend. You should also explore short term programs, summer camps and courses organized in your field of interest.

How important are the high school (Grade 12) marks / GPA?

High school (Grade 12) GPA is often the most important component in the admission decision. Several top colleges use the GPA as the primary screening criteria. Other colleges may have a more holistic approach and consider SAT or ACT scores. If you need assistance or coaching for certain subjects, please contact us via the contact options provided on the site, and we will be glad to help.

How should I prepare for SAT and TOEFL?

There are several reputable coaching services for these exams. To answer this question better, we would need some information about you. Please contact us, and we will be glad to help.

What other activities and/or classes should I attend to maximize my chances of admission?

There are several other activities you can undertake to become a well-rounded student. You could: 1) pursue additional studies in your field of interest, 2) attend summer camps, 3) complete online credit courses, and 4) participate in extracurricular activities. To answer this question better, we would need some information about you. Please contact us, and we will be glad to help.

Cost to Study

How much does it cost to study and what scholarships may be available?

What is the cost to study in the US?

Depending upon the college and scholarships, for international undergraduate students, the annual expense can be $40,000 to $50,000.

What type of scholarships are available to international students?

Universities try to attract the best and brightest students. As such, several universities and colleges offer substantial merit scholarships to international students based on their academic profile and scores. In some cases, universities offer diversity scholarships based on the country of origin.

More Questions

Some more questions.

Can I work part time while studying?

F-1 visa holders cannot accept off-campus employment at any time during the first year of their studies. Under certain circumstances, the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) may grant permission to accept off-campus employment after one year of study. F-1 students may accept on-campus employment without seeking prior permission from the USCIS. During regular school sessions, the student cannot work for more than 20 hours per week, and during extended holidays and breaks, the student is allowed to work up to 40 hours per week. Please check the exact requirements from the designated school officer.

Am I eligible for on-campus housing?

That would depend on the university. Most universities require undergraduate students to live on-campus for the first year. Some universities require students to live on-campus though the entire program. However, you will need to confirm this at the time of admission. Generally, living on-campus should be more convenient, safe and economical.

Visa Requirements

What are the visa requirements?

What type of visa is required to study in the US?

Students can study in the US on J, M or F visa. The most common visa type for studying in the US is the F visa.

What is a SEVP certified school?

A student on a F or M visa in the United States must attend a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school.

I have heard that obtaining F-1 study visas can be time consuming and uncertain.

The F-1 visa process and requirements are well documented. However, there are still rejections. The common causes of rejection are (1) lack of financial means to support education, (2) not demonstrating adequate connections with the home country, (3) missing or falsified documents and (4) not being able to explain choice of university, course and future plans in the visa interview. Please contact us, and we will be glad to connect you with an experienced mentor.

Students Loans

Can I obtain student loans to finance my education?

Can I obtain student loans to finance my education?

International students are not eligible for US Federal loans. However, they may be eligible for loans from banks and specialty lenders in their home country. Lenders may evaluate several criteria to sanction this loan including the income and the assets of the parents. To answer this question better, we would need some information about you. Please contact us, and we will be glad to help.

Why should I consider international education?

The best educational opportunities may not necessarily be near you. Learning from the best teachers and interacting with sharp and ambitious students is an important part of higher education. Traveling, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, widens your horizons and teaches essential life skills. Also, in today’s world all routine jobs are getting automated. As such, the ability to learn new things and strong people skills are even more crucial.

Which countries are popular with students seeking international education?

The USA has the world’s largest international student population, with more than one million students. Other popular destinations are UK, Canada, Australia and Germany.

How should I decide where to study?

You should consider your field of study and your long-term career aspirations. For example, a finance or business professional may well aspire to work at the Wall Street while a technology professional may want to work in Silicon Valley. You should consider colleges with an established track record of students being placed in your desired career. In general, good well-rounded higher education greatly enhances your ability to move between countries, companies and careers.

.

What are dual degrees and articulation agreements?

Some colleges provide their students the option of earning a dual degree under articulation agreements with other colleges. In such cases, the students are admitted and complete their studies at the first college. Subject to meeting academic standards, the student is accepted into the second college and completes the remainder of their studies. Upon successful completion, the student may earn a bachelor’s degree in Science from the first college and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the second college. These programs may be 3-3 or 3-2 programs between cooperating colleges and universities.

What is the difference between US public universities and private universities?

Public universities normally receive a portion of their funding from the government. Whereas, private universities do not get funding from the government and generate most of their funding from tuition and endowments. Private universities may be non-profit or for profit.

Are public universities better than private universities or vice versa?

There is no generic answer. There are highly ranked public as well as highly ranked private universities and colleges. For example, the Ivy Leagues are all private non-profit universities while the University of Michigan and UCLA are public universities. You will need to consider the rankings for the university and the specific program you want to pursue.

What is the state university system in the US?

The state university system is a group of public universities supported by individual states. These systems constitute most of the public-funded universities in the country. Each state supports at least one such university.

What are community colleges?

Community colleges, sometimes referred to as junior colleges, technical colleges or two-year colleges are public institutions providing continuing education. They grant certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. After graduating from a community college, a portion of the students transfer to a four-year regular college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree.

What are STEM courses, and what are the benefits of studying these courses?

STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Most people agree that STEM is the key to innovation and job creation. As such, the US government considers STEM education important in making the United States more competitive in the global economy.

What is OPT?

OPT is an acronym for Optional Practical Training. Undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status, who have either completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months, are eligible for paid internships in their field of study. In general, 12 months of OPT is permitted for students on F-1 visas. However, for certain STEM courses, the students may be granted a 24 month OPT extension.

What is a liberal arts education?

Liberal arts refer to college studies that provide general knowledge and develop the student’s intellectual ability. This education provides a strong background for the student to work in a variety of fields or to pursue graduate studies in law or business. Some of the subjects that a student may study in a liberal arts college are economics, literature, languages, philosophy, psychology, science and math. For example some of the highest ranked colleges in America are liberal arts colleges, such as the Ivy Leagues.

I have often heard that the US higher education system is quite flexible. Please explain what this means, and how does it benefit the students?

Some examples of flexibility are, (1) Several US universities permit an undeclared major. This enables the student to begin their college studies without having to select a program in which to major. This way, the student can discover their interests and strengths by taking courses from a variety of disciplines prior to declaring a specific major. (2) Most universities permit students to choose from several elective courses. Depending on their field of interest and within certain constraints, the student can decide which courses they want to study. (3) Almost a third of all students swap institutions at least once before earning their degree. The reasons for the transfer could be looking for a stronger program in their major, attending a higher ranked college or not finding the college to be a good fit.

To how many US colleges should I apply in order to maximize my chance of admission?

International students applying to US colleges generally submit ten (10) applications. Of these, five (5) are reach schools; three (3) are match schools; and two (2) are safety schools.

What are reach schools?

If your academic profile and scores are below the 25th percentile of the enrolled students at a college, it’s considered a reach school.

What are match schools?

If your academic profile and scores are between the 25th and 75th percentile of the enrolled students at a college, it’s considered a match school.

What are safety schools?

If your academic profile scores are higher than 75th percentile of the enrolled students at a college, it’s considered a safety school.

What is an Honors program?

Several US universities have two tracks: a regular program and an Honors program for stronger students. The Honors program normally has higher entrance requirements as well as higher ongoing GPA and academic requirements to stay in the program. In general, Honors programs signify more challenging course work and a higher academic standard within the same college or university.

What are dual degrees and articulation agreements?

Some colleges provide their students the option of earning a dual degree under articulation agreements with other colleges. In such cases, the students are admitted and complete their studies at the first college. Subject to meeting academic standards, the student is accepted into the second college and completes the remainder of their studies. Upon successful completion, the student may earn a bachelor’s degree in Science from the first college and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the second college. These programs may be 3-3 or 3-2 programs between cooperating colleges and universities.

When do classes start in the US?

There are two primary semesters. Classes for the Fall semester start around the end of August, and classes for the Spring semester start in April. Most students start their college education in the Fall semester.

What are the application deadlines?

Application deadlines for many colleges and universities are 8 – 10 months before the start of classes. Some colleges and universities see a very high number of applications, so it’s important to apply timely and strategically. For example, for several colleges starting in the Fall of 2021, the application deadline may be January 1, 2021, and the early action deadline may be November 1, 2020.

What is the National College Decision Day?

May 1st is the deadline by which students, who have been offered admission, must select one college and provide a deposit.

What is Early Decision?

A student can select one college as their Early Decision choice usually by November. The student can continue to apply to other colleges under regular admission plans. Colleges normally notify students of early admission decisions by December. If and when the student is accepted by their Early Decision college, they must withdraw all other applications and send a non-refundable deposit.

What is Early Action?

A student can apply early and receive an admission decision early in the admission cycle (usually by February). The student does not have to commit upon receipt of offer and can give the college a decision by May 1.

What can I do to improve my chances of admission to my dream university?

At the highest level, colleges want students who will succeed in their studies and beyond. Colleges use your High School scores/GPA, SAT scores, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, class rank and interests to judge your readiness to attend their school. Will you be able to handle the academic rigor of their classes?
Colleges are also assessing your potential as a graduate of their school. Are you someone who could become a CEO? Win the Nobel Prize? Become a Prime Minister? Colleges use your extracurricular activities, application essays and your letters of recommendation to judge your focus and future potential. Additionally, for international students, most colleges place a high weight on English language proficiency.
While there is no single answer, if you can demonstrate suitable academic credentials, leadership skills and an interest in your field of study, it will improve your chances of getting admitted.

When should I start preparing for US college admissions?

If you are an international student aspiring for admission to a US College, by end of Grade 9 you should have some idea of your field of study (finance, math, science, engineering, law, liberal arts, business) and what type of university you would like to attend. You should also explore short term programs, summer camps and courses organized in your field of interest.

How important are the high school (Grade 12) marks / GPA?

High school (Grade 12) GPA is often the most important component in the admission decision. Several top colleges use the GPA as the primary screening criteria. Other colleges may have a more holistic approach and consider SAT or ACT scores. If you need assistance or coaching for certain subjects, please contact us via the contact options provided on the site, and we will be glad to help.

How should I prepare for SAT and TOEFL?

There are several reputable coaching services for these exams. To answer this question better, we would need some information about you. Please contact us, and we will be glad to help.

What other activities and/or classes should I attend to maximize my chances of admission?

There are several other activities you can undertake to become a well-rounded student. You could: 1) pursue additional studies in your field of interest, 2) attend summer camps, 3) complete online credit courses, and 4) participate in extracurricular activities. To answer this question better, we would need some information about you. Please contact us, and we will be glad to help.

What is the cost to study in the US?

Depending upon the college and scholarships, for international undergraduate students, the annual expense can be $40,000 to $50,000.

What type of scholarships are available to international students?

Universities try to attract the best and brightest students. As such, several universities and colleges offer substantial merit scholarships to international students based on their academic profile and scores. In some cases, universities offer diversity scholarships based on the country of origin.

More Questions

Some more questions.

Can I work part time while studying?

F-1 visa holders cannot accept off-campus employment at any time during the first year of their studies. Under certain circumstances, the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) may grant permission to accept off-campus employment after one year of study. F-1 students may accept on-campus employment without seeking prior permission from the USCIS. During regular school sessions, the student cannot work for more than 20 hours per week, and during extended holidays and breaks, the student is allowed to work up to 40 hours per week. Please check the exact requirements from the designated school officer.

Am I eligible for on-campus housing?

That would depend on the university. Most universities require undergraduate students to live on-campus for the first year. Some universities require students to live on-campus though the entire program. However, you will need to confirm this at the time of admission. Generally, living on-campus should be more convenient, safe and economical.

What type of visa is required to study in the US?

Students can study in the US on J, M or F visa. The most common visa type for studying in the US is the F visa.

What is a SEVP certified school?

A student on a F or M visa in the United States must attend a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school.

I have heard that obtaining F-1 study visas can be time consuming and uncertain.

The F-1 visa process and requirements are well documented. However, there are still rejections. The common causes of rejection are (1) lack of financial means to support education, (2) not demonstrating adequate connections with the home country, (3) missing or falsified documents and (4) not being able to explain choice of university, course and future plans in the visa interview. Please contact us, and we will be glad to connect you with an experienced mentor.

Can I obtain student loans to finance my education?

International students are not eligible for US Federal loans. However, they may be eligible for loans from banks and specialty lenders in their home country. Lenders may evaluate several criteria to sanction this loan including the income and the assets of the parents. To answer this question better, we would need some information about you. Please contact us, and we will be glad to help.