Application Process:

The application process for studying abroad is time consuming and requires applicants to start preparing well in advance of their anticipated start date. It is very important to begin the admission process early because in many cases application deadlines are far in advance of the start of the semester (sometimes as many as ten months).

You also need to allow time for scheduling any standardized tests needed for admission and then having the results of these tests sent to schools. There is no uniform world-wide application system. Each college or university establishes its own unique policies.

The 6 basic steps for applying abroad are:

  • Identifying country, universities and the course of your interest
  • Request universities for Application forms
  • Taking various required tests
  • Arranging and preparing Essays and recommendation letters
  • Completing and Sending Application forms along with required documents
  • Reporting various test scores to the universities

SELECTING UNIVERSITIES

Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is very expensive by Indian standards. Hence it has to be restricted to around 6 or 8 universities which are best matched for your requirements.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you. The ranges of academic options as well as available universities are so wide that it is not possible to select the best in one go and it may take some time.

The basic steps involved in the process of selecting universities are:

Level Criteria for short listing
I Self Evaluation
II

Academic Eligibility

Academic Record (Grade point Average)

Standardized Test Scores

Financial Aid Considerations

Other issues

III Application Stage (After receiving prospectus & forms)

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through the material in detail and check the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information.

Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives and group the universities under three categories:

  • Schools that seem to match your requirements
  • Schools that are not suited to your needs
  • Schools that do not completely fit in any of the above two categorie

Eliminate schools in Group 2 and check out in detail again the universities in Group 3. You can try and focus on departments that you would most like to attend and the school rankings in that field. And any special facilities that the school may offer you in that field. Try and make a list of schools on basis of fresh and more specific criteria like:

  • Objectives of the program and kind of methodology as well as approach
  • Admission / Entrance requirement
  • Availability of assistantships and funds in the field of your choice
  • Research facilities
  • Location Profile of students enrolled

Narrow down your list to about 6-8 universities to whom you intend to apply.

SES can help you select universities that are best suited for your requirements.

Once you have decided on the universities to apply to, you have to start filling up the application forms. The forms will ask for your personal details, academic record, official transcripts, various essays, personal achievements, extracurricular activities and recommendation letters.

ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS:

The transcripts of your academic record are absolutely essential to the evaluation of your academic abilities. Your official transcript or academic record is the objective part of your application. Academic records greatly vary from one education system to the other. Systems of evaluation or grading and the formats used to present this information also differ widely.

Undergraduate:

Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or any other undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relationship to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a statement of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Since there is a variation between the styles of scoring used abroad and the ones used in India, ask your school to include a guide to the grading standards used in your educational system and your school. If your school ranks students by their level of academic achievement, make certain that the ranking is included with the other details. Also send the school / junior college leaving certificate as and when it is available.

Graduate

Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcript but most require only one.

If the transcripts are in a language other than English, then it must be translated into English only by the issuing authority or university otherwise it may not be acceptable.

What to do once you have been accepted:

Each college will tell you exactly what steps to follow to confirm your acceptance of their offer of admission and how to prepare for your first term. This information will be included with the letter of admission or in materials that will be sent to you shortly thereafter. You must respond with a "yes" or "No" for each offer of admission. You may also be required to submit a financial deposit to the institution that you plan to attend. This is to guarantee your place in the class. Make sure you do not miss any deadlines.

If you are in the waiting list:

You may receive a letter that informs you that you are on a ‘waiting list’. This generally means that the admission office determined that you were qualified for admission but there was not enough room to admit all qualified applicants. If you are placed in the waiting list of a college you wish to attend, you will be asked whether you are interested or not. If you say yes, you may be offered admission if space becomes available.

If you are placed in the waiting list of your first choice college and confirmed in the second choice college, you may do the following steps to remain on the safer side:

  • Accept the offer of the second choice school and pay the deposit
  • Accept the offer of remaining in the waiting list of the first choice school