USA Application Procedure
Most applications to US universities are made through the Common Application website: https://www.commonapp.org/ with the exception of universities in California, Florida, Texas and MIT. Please look at the individual websites of the universities for full details of how to apply.
The Step-By-Step Guide to College Planning
- Research the courses and universities on the College Board Big Future website:https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/
- Use the filters to narrow down the course, the state, the size, public or private or the university.
- Click to open the pages you would like to read. You will find general information about the course, fees and entry information.
- SATs and ACTs (standardised assessment tests) are desirable but not always compulsory – check with colleges
- You probably won’t find the OIB or the European Bac in the list of entry requirements, but may ask for this School Profile 2020-2021 intended for US colleges.
Please remember to be realistic with your choices of universities and courses. The top ranked ones are very difficult to get places in and are not necessarily the right match for you. You should always consider having a back up option – a choice with a slightly lower entry requirement.
When you have made your choices, you will need to register for an account and then fill in the online application form: https://www.commonapp.org/
Use this guide to help you with your application: https://www.commonapp.org/apply/first-time-students
1. Complete the different sections:
- High school information
You’ll need to know things like your high school’s CEEB code (EIPACA does not have one), GPA scale (EIPACA does not have one), and class rank reporting (we do not report class rank).
Check in with your school counselor (Mrs Palmer) for more details about this information.
- An unofficial copy of your high school transcript – please ask for this using this form
You’ll be asked to list the courses you’re taking this academic year.
Some colleges ask applicants to self report their full academic record in the Courses & Grades section. If you have a college on your list that requires Courses & Grades, you’ll need your transcript to complete this section.
- A copy of your test scores and dates
You have the option to enter scores for standardized exams like the ACT and SAT that you have taken and/or plan to take. Don’t forget, you’ll still need to send official score reports to colleges that require them.
- Citizenship information
For non-U.S. citizens: U.S. visa type, number, and date issued. If you do not yet have a U.S. visa but intend to apply for one, you can indicate that in the application.
- State of residence information
If you think you qualify for in-state tuition for a school you might be asked to share more information about your residence in that state.
- Parent information
You’ll be asked to share some basic information about one or more parents, including your parent’s occupation and job title, and the education level they received. If your parent attended college, you’ll need to know the name and location of the college they attended, as well as what degree they received and when.
- A list of academic honors
You can include up to 5 academic honors you received during high school. You’ll need to include the honor’s title, when you received it, and the level of recognition you received (regional or national, for example).
- A list of your activities – you could use this document to help you.
You have the option to enter up to 10 activities you participated in during high school. These activities might include family responsibilities, jobs, volunteer work, clubs, sports, hobbies, and more.
For each activity you’ll list: the years of participation, hours per week and weeks per year spent on the activity, position/leadership held, and a brief description.
2. Check the writing requirements for the different colleges. You will have to submit at least 1 essay that is, in essence, a motivation letter. This must tell a story so that it stands out, don’t make it a list of things you have done. Here are some tips.
3. Reference letters from school: The school counselor will write one reference and include your predicted grades. This reference is written in conjunction with the teachers and these references take time to write. This is why we ask you to request a reference at least four weeks before the deadline. To help us to write the best reference we can for you, we also ask the student and parents to complete an online questionnaire.
Additionally, and depending on the college, you may add up to 2 more reference letters that are subject related. Please ask your teachers for these well in advance, and before you send them an automatic invitation to upload a reference.
5. Decisions from Universities
Each university and college will make their decisions at different times. However, there are deadlines by which they will need to have decided:
Early Decision admissions decisions often come out in December.
Early action applicants will hear back from schools sooner, usually in December or January.
Students who apply regular decision generally hear back from schools in mid-to-late March or early April.