If you are reading this information about US colleges and universities, you must be a parent!
The staff at PlanetGPA are also parents and hence we want to help parents whose children may be heading to an US college or university. Whether your child lives in the US or abroad, the decision to find the right US college or university is a challenging one. But if you are patient and persistent, and you do your research from reliable sources, you and your child can make the right decision. Below we answer a few questions that most parents have when it comes to admission in an US college or university.
When should my child start thinking about applying to US colleges or universities?
The sooner, the better is the right answer. One to two years before they graduate from high school for an undergraduate program. If they are seeking a graduate degree from an US college or university, they should star their research in their second or final year of undergraduate (if they are in a 3 year program) or in their 3rd or 4th year if they are in a 4 year program.
What is the first thing my child should do to get admission to the right US college or university?
The single most important thing that your child should do is to earn good grades at school or college. They should take difficult courses and build a strong portfolio of meaningful courses. Admissions officers at US colleges and universities understand that it is not always easy to make great grades in tough courses. They also know that it is easy to make good grades in easy courses! So take tough courses.
What else is important?
Participate in extra curricular activities. Admissions officers at US colleges and universities want to see that your child is good outside the classroom and has leadership potential.
What is the next thing that my child should do to gain admission to an US college or university?
The next step is to decide on a major or at least narrow the list of fields or studies that your child will study.
What about cost?
It is very important to think carefully about cost of an US college or university education. Every parent wants their child to attend a top university, but top universities in the US are very expensive. Hence it is a good idea to decide the maximum amount (including boarding and lodging) that your family can afford to spend on your kid's education.
If you are an US citizen, then you can apply for federal and state loans. There are also a number of scholarships that are available for US students. Some scholarships are available for international students who want to study in US colleges and universities, but the competition is high for these US scholarships.
Should my child take any tests?
Your child may also have to take several tests such as SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, or GMAT depending on what he or she wants to study. Encourage your child to prepare for these tests and do well in them.
Are college essays important?
Yes - while the "perfect" college essay may not get your child admission to a top US university, a bad essay will likely lead to a rejection letter.
What is the best US college or university for my child?
There is no perfect or right answer for this question. The answer is, "it depends." It depends on your child's grades or marks in high school or undergraduate, his or her career interest and choice of major at an US college or university, location preference, and finances.
Is a job guaranteed when they graduate from an US college or university? No - there are no guarantees. Again it depends on how well your child does in college, his or her extracurricular activities, choice of major, reputation of the US college or university, and geographical location.
Should my child use an education consultant or college counselor?
If you are familiar with the US college and application process, and your child knows how to apply, you don't need a consultant. However, if you are an international student, a reliable and trustworthy consultant can be very helpful in your child getting admission to a top US college or university.
Companies like PlanetGPA with its team of US-educated counselors can be very helpful as well. If you have any questions, please post them on our Facebook page.
Good luck to you!