Things to know first before applying USA!
Universities in the USA are either public or private. Some
are Liberal Arts College. Private universities have their cost
of attendance same for both locals and international
students. Public have different amounts i.e. instate fee (for
locals of that state) and out of state (for international
students). Liberal arts generally come under private.
Generally public universities provide scholarship saying:
out-of-state fee waiver, meaning you don’t have to pay out
of state fee; instead you have to pay instate fee and there is
also some additional scholarship in it.
Consultancies and agents in Nepal take affiliation from
some USA universities for their own profit (as in the form
of commission). They are always sure about your cost of
attendance –this is the total price that includes the cost of
tuition and living expenses on campus.
Whenever we select a university, it should match with our
profile –like your academic GPA and SAT score, because
you should know the value of your score; as they are main
criteria to get you scholarship along with your essay and
extra-curricular activities. Whereas the thing about
consultancy, they don’t care about your academic potential
because you’re paying them and you expect them giving
you the placement in USA colleges and universities –no
matter what your score is.
Every human is not bad. Few consultancies care about your
score; so it’s better to get smart by doing your own
research, and visiting USEF sessions .Then visit them as a
fool for just getting some briefing. This way you can figure
out who should be trusted.
Admission officers are always there to help you. Ask them
for providing information regarding scholarship
Think of your application early –so that you can grab your
opportunity as early as you can.
The most important thing that will matter throughout the
entire application process is your SAT score, GPA and
If you’re trying for undergraduate studies, remember you’re
just a high school graduate.
Have one email ID that you’ll use throughout your
application process –this will be the main medium of
communication between college/university and you.
Early action and early decision deadlines start from
November 01 to November 15. Whereas regular goes up to
February (depends upon the university). Every university
has regular deadline but only few of them can be applied in
early decision and early action.
Early action is non-binding means if you apply a university,
it’s not compulsory to attend it. Whereas, early decision is a
binding application plan where you cannot attend other
university if you got accepted in that university in early
Scholarships are generally two types: Merit based
scholarship and need based scholarship. Every university
grants merit based scholarship and only few of them
awards you need based.
If a university provides you the merit based scholarship, it
implies that it’s their choice of amount that they want to
provide you. Whereas, need based scholarship is the
amount that you get after telling the amount that your
family can afford.
Your essay, academic GPA, SAT score and essay is enough
to consider you for merit based scholarship. Whereas, you
have to fill up CSS profile and ISFAA form for qualifying
for need-based scholarship.
Colleges sometimes say you to send them your SAT and
TOEFL score electronically. It means that you have to pay
12$ for SAT and 16$ around for TOEFL score report. This
you do by logging into your account and you’ll get the
SAT/ACT is a test, NOT a course. Same goes for
TOEFL/IELTS which just check your English proficiency.
You have prepared for all of them but just you have to
adjust yourself in their difficulty level.
TOEFL is mostly taken for USA universities whereas
IELTS works for both USA and Australia.
I-20 is the official acceptance letter issued by the
Whenever you pay for your application, SAT or TOEFL,
you need credit card because they are paid through an
international transaction. Rarely anyone gets credit card
and the ATM card you’re holding is debit card that won’t
work. So, the head department banks provide the credit
card services to its customers. So, complete everything up
(visiting the site and updating your information after
making your own account in it –like you do when you
make your FACEBOOK account) to the pay option and
where you’ll have username and password. Bank authority
will ask you that username and password and go up to the
pay option and rest work goes to them. Then, they’ll ask
you for making the payment with some bank charges.
How to apply through common application?
Common application (this is an online application that
sends all your academic scores and recommendation
letters, extra-curricular activities personal essay and
supplement essay directly to the admission officers of
the university/college –on just a click). You can only
apply 20 universities from common application where
around 600 colleges/universities can be applied with
First you have to make one common application
account. So now, it’s time to update your account with
your academic high school scores. But, you can’t do
that. Your guidance counselor (academic coordinator,
principle, vice-principle) has to do it. So, there is an
option “Invite” where it asks you to provide the email
address (Gmail ID) of your guidance counselor. When
you enter, an invitation goes to the Gmail ID of your
guidance counselor asking them to update the scan
copy of your educational transcripts and guidance
counselor recommendation. After the completion of
the work of your counselor, your common application
will be updated with your high school academic
scores. Now, it’s time for getting recommendation
from your teachers. After getting recommendation,
you have to update it in your common application ID.
However, you can’t do it. Again, in the
recommendation section, there is an “invitation”
option where you enter the email ID of your teacher
who issued you the recommendation. Now, the teacher
will update the scan copy of your recommendation in
your common application.
After the completion of the work of your guidance
counselor and teachers, you have to add colleges that
you want to apply.
Remember to give enough time in your personal essay
that is sent to college when you apply. However,
sometimes university expects you to write a
supplement essay (essay that seeks our especial
interest in that institution).
You’ll get options to choose your application plan i.e.
early action, early decision 1, early decision 2 and
At last, you’re ready to apply and the university will
contact you within 2-3 days.
Few universities cannot be applied through Common
application, how to apply them?
The university will demand you to send them
your transcripts. So, here, guidance counselor
will not play any role. Instead, you have to go
with your transcripts along with their photocopy
to USEF and attest it. (Attestation is the process
of putting stamp on the photocopy of the original
transcript that becomes a proof that it’s verified
Mostly colleges outside the common application
don’t award need based award. They offer merit
based scholarship. So, you have to show a bank
certificate of around 35,000$ as a proof that you
have enough funds to pay the first year expenses.
Get all your documents sealed in package and go
to courier company (DHL). Pay the sum and
they’ll get you the tracking number. University
will receive your package and evaluate your
application for rendering you a decision.
Before sending your package, you have to pay
the application fee by visiting the website of the
university and find an option “International
undergraduate degree” and click on the option
“apply”. Henceforth, fill up the entire form and
then you’ll see the pay option. That option has to
be continued by the bank authority bearing credit
You’ll be updated with your application decision
and scholarship. So, keep checking your mail
Some Tips for your effective application:
SAT scores and TOEFL scores are sent
to the university after paying. But, ask
admission officers to wave your TOEFL
requirement with your SAT score.
Ask your admission officers if they accept
SAT scorecard instead of sending
electronically. (Scorecard is the PDF that
has the brief summary of the score and
your performance in SAT)
Send admission officers your username
and password of your SAT and TOEFL
account where you have to ask them for
logging into your account and see your
scores and update it to your application
file instead of sending them
Whenever you apply USA
colleges/Universities, you have to pay the
application fee. But, that fee waived
(means you don’t have to pay) when we
apply through “The Common
Application” because counselor uploads
fee waiver letter in your common
application. Generally, non-common
application colleges generally don’t wave
it so you have to pay 40$-60$. Then after
only your file will be evaluated.
Few universities grant financial aid. So,
they demand CSS Profile. This is the
electronic form where we pay around 60$.
Whereas, ISFAA form requires you to
just fill up the form by printing it. After
printing, update it and scan it. Make the
PDF file of the scanned files and send it
to admission officer. This works free of
cost. Hence, ask your admission to allow
you filling up ISFAA form. If they won’t
allow you filling ISFAA, ask them for fee
waiver code –code that is used in CSS
Profile where you don’t have to pay the
expenses for sending your CSS Profile.
Check if a university has honors program.
Most of the universities have Honors
program and if you qualify for it, then
you’ll get extra scholarship.
Ask admission officers if their scholarship
program matches your profile.
Sometimes admission officer awards you
additional scholarship if you request them
and write a heart touching mail to them.
So, maintain a proper communication.
If you don’t get a response of your mail,
call them using GOOGLE HANGSOUT,
a Google application that uses internet for
Ask admission officers if your application
is complete, so that to ensure that you’ll