While for the most part, students applying to American colleges and universities use the Common Application, some schools require students to apply using other application portals such as the UC (University of California) application or the Coalition App. However, knowing which form to use is only the beginning of the process.
How to apply to a US university from Dubai
The most important part of the application process is the preparation and research stage – not only choosing the schools themselves but also creating a successful application plan. You should start preparing your college list the summer before your final year of high school, at the latest. We recommend starting university research as early as two or three years before your final year of high school. Attend campus tours if that is available to you, and subscribe to university newsletters and other social media pages. Familiarize yourself with acceptance rates and average SAT/ACT scores so that you can work toward building a balanced college list. Once your college list is in its final stages, you should begin to familiarize yourself with the application deadlines, both early and regular, as deadlines vary school to school. Finally, research the application components specific to international students. Whenever you need support, email the admissions office. Most universities have an admissions officer assigned to work exclusively with international students, and this person is your best resource.
Choosing the Right Fit
How do you determine which US universities to apply to? The process can be time-consuming and confusing. At times, you may find yourself overwhelmed with rankings from multiple sources. With over 4,000 universities in the US, there are a multitude of factors that should also be considered, including: personal, academic, social, and professional goals, location, size, campus culture, the differences between a public and private university, and the types of academic programs offered by each institution.
What it Takes
Even before you craft your perfect college list, you should understand what you’ll be required to submit to each university. Below is a concise list of the major requirements:
– Your academic record
– Your standardized test scores
– Your extracurricular profile
– A personal statement and other supplemental essays
– Letters of recommendation
– Interview (usually optional, but always recommended)
When preparing college applications it is not only what is included that can make the difference, but perhaps more importantly, what is missing.
As more and more students are applying to colleges in the US, competition is becoming fiercer every year. Many of the top schools now require near perfect test scores to be in the 75th percentile, so students need to give themselves every opportunity to be one step ahead of other applicants by demonstrating both a strong academic record and a meaningful personal profile. In today’s admissions landscape, top test scores are not enough to gain admission to the most competitive colleges.
Admissions officers take a holistic approach when considering applications. Therefore students who are not content with their test scores can compensate, to a degree, with their personal profile. Creating a record of your extracurricular activities should begin three years prior to the final year of high school; activities should demonstrate commitment and a depth of interest in a select few areas. Do not neglect summer plans – it is important to spend your vacation time productively in activities that compliment your interests, such as academic summer programs and community engagement.
Building a strong profile takes time, so starting the process at a younger age can give students an additional edge. . This is where the support and guidance of an educational consultant is invaluable.
The Hale team is comprised of educational consultants from top US universities. We provide one-on-one, comprehensive support in building extracurricular profiles, academic advising, test preparation, and application support for summer programs and university admissions, including creating an application plan and deadline timeline, essay brainstorming and revision, completing the Common App and UC applications, guidance on letters of recommendation, interview preparation, supervising student visa applications, and identifying merit-based aid and scholarship opportunities, among other services.
To find out more about Hale Education and how to apply to US and Canadian universities from Dubai, schedule a free initial consultation today.