Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Timeline for International Students: Are You on Track?

Fall is upon us! 

For those who started a new semester, welcome back to school. For those who are gearing up for the admissions cycle, then this is the time to start focusing on your priorities. 

September should be the month for you to lay out your groundwork for the upcoming application deadline season. Check below if you are on track!

If you are enrolling for fall 2015:

1. Create an Excel database
  • In any type of program that allows you to create charts, list universities in the columns and the different application materials you need to finish. Do not forget to list the application deadlines. 

University A
University B
University C
Application Deadline

Minimum TOEFL Score

Essay Questions, etc.

2. Shortlist your colleges

  • Identify your “reach,” match", and "safety" schools. 
3. Start your college essay & get it peer reviewed
  • For undergraduate students, check out the Common Application essay prompts here.
  • For graduate students, make sure to check all the different essay prompts and personal statement guidelines by visiting each university’s website. 
4. Schedule test dates for any remaining proficiency exams
  • Make sure to schedule your test dates as many testing centers around the world fill up quickly.
5. Get your school transcripts
  • For undergraduate students, many universities will accept your transcript without grades for your last year so request them early. However, universities will ask for the final official transcript when you graduate.
  • For graduate students, if you attended various institutions and transferred universities as an undergraduate, make sure to start contacting schools for your official transcript as these can take several weeks to process and mail. 

If you are applying for 2016:

1. Start researching

  • It is never too late to start researching schools. Start by listing some schools that you may have heard of or have dreamed about attending. Check out the school websites to learn more about these schools. 
2. Sign up for admissions mailing lists
  • Many admissions offices have email mailing lists that send you reminders or updates on the admissions process for universities. Request to be added to mailing lists for prospective students. Visit their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to stay up to date. 
3. Find out who can help you 
  • If you have a college counselor at your school, schedule a meeting to talk to them about studying abroad in the U.S. If you do not have one, check out community organizations, libraries, and other places for help. 
4. Plan out your test taking strategy
  • Get supplemental materials to help you study for the college entrance exams, such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, etc. 
  • Check Facebook and Twitter for other students in your area for local study groups. 
5. Plan out your last year of school
  • For future undergraduate students, make sure you plan out a rigorous academic schedule for your last year. 
  • For future graduate students, make sure to have all of your relevant major classes planned out. 
WES Advisor provides international students with free tips and advice from university admissions experts to expand your educational opportunities in the United States. On this website, you will find tools and resources to help you prepare for the university admissions process. Learn more about WES Student Advisor.

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