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3 Can’t-Miss Application Tips for International Students

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

Applying to college can be daunting for nearly any incoming freshman. But for international students looking to come to the U.S. for a college education, the task can come with additional challenges.

Niche Ambassador Diana Vicezar gives her own advice on how to apply to college in the United States. 

  1. Start applying as soon as you can. Diana chose to take a gap year (a year off after graduating from high school) and used it to start the application process, ultimately applying to and being accepted at Pitzer College. While the year off worked for her, she does recommend students start the college search process in their junior or senior years in high school to allow more time for learning and being comfortable with the application process.
  2. Learn as much as you can about the admissions to U.S. schools. Depending on a student’s home country’s higher education system and his or her own English literacy levels, the process may be more difficult to understand or vary wildly from that of his or her native country. To start:
    • Know the difference among all the admission deadlines. Early decision, early action or regular decision? They can greatly affect the timing of when an international student should apply. 
    • Learn about major and minor choices. Diana admits she wasn’t familiar with these designations, though it’s common knowledge to many incoming students in the States. Need some ideas? Try browsing our list of most popular college majors.
    • Decide how to apply to each college. Avenues include independently or through the Common App or Coalition App. Check out our five favorite options for applying to more than one college at a time.
    • Understand whether colleges in your search require achievement test scores. Test scores used to be required among most U.S. colleges. Now, not so much. Learn which schools want them and the differences between the test themselves.
    • Choose your preferred method of recording your English literacy.  Options include the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic and Duolingo tests.
  3. Learn how you’re going to pay for college. You can explore any combination of personal funds, merit- and need-based scholarships, grants and loans.

Looking for more advice from Diana or our other ambassadors? Follow us @nichesocial.

Author: Abby Proch

Abby Proch is an award-winning writer and editor whose experiences range from news reporting at a rural community newspaper to teaching online college English courses to copywriting for a major sporting goods retailer. Abby takes pride in her yinzer roots but knows how to turn on the fancy talk, too. When she's not obsessively writing and rewriting to find the perfect turn of phrase, she's caring for her kiddos while sipping her (often cold) coffee.