Your Guide to Enrolling in a Degree Course in the USA

The United States is one of the most popular destinations for international students across the globe. International students are attracted to studying in the U.S. due to the prestigious level of higher education, its worth in the employment market, and accessibility to job opportunities following graduation.

It’s easy to understand why over a million overseas students want to study in the United States. However, many students find the whole process of admission challenging and complicated to navigate.

We have curated this article to help ease the challenge of enrolling in a degree course in the USA. So scroll down to take the first step of your study abroad journey in the USA.

Pick a College

To begin your international study plans, create a list of up to 5-6 universities where you want to study – do this well before the admissions deadline. The institutions or schools on the list must provide the degree program you wish to pursue, and you should also keep any required qualifications in mind. 

Your prior year’s academic record is one of the most important qualifying criteria. Keep track of the CGPA or GPA necessary for admission. In addition, look into language proficiency, recommendations, and other requirements. These can include testing, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, and more.

Verify every detail the institution requires and arrange everything ahead of time. This will ensure that you are well prepared for your application, so that you can apply before the school’s deadline.

Submit Application Form

Each school has a submission deadline. The school-specific application form could be as little as 2-3 pages or as extensive as 5-6 pages. Allow enough time to put together your application and submit it prior to the deadlines.

Nowadays, most schools facilitate online application forms. Nevertheless, remember that an online application for some schools is only the beginning of the process; you may still have to submit the remainder of the required documents in other formats.

Before submitting your application, review your application form in detail to ensure that no details are missing or wrong and that you have included all pertinent and required information. 

Take the IELTS or TOEFL

There is no official language in the United States; therefore, you’ll encounter various foreign languages. 

However, English is the language of instruction in most universities. As a requirement for your application, you will very certainly be expected to present proof of your English language proficiency. 

You can take the IELTS or TOEFL tests depending on your university’s requirements. You can book your slot at the nearest test center. After receiving the results, you can upload the grades to your university application management system. 

The degree of fluency will be determined by where you study. It is normal for colleges to provide English language classes to assist you in improving if you do not achieve the acceptable criteria for your degree.

Take the SAT or ACT 

Many colleges prefer standardized results alongside other documents. You can take the SAT or ACT and upload your results. High scores on these standardized tests can be a gateway into more competitive colleges. 

Before you take the SAT or ACT, you can take courses, study course material, and take practice exams to prepare yourself. These exams cover several core topics such as mathematics, writing, and reading and typically take hours to complete. When you’re ready, locate the closest examination center and register for the test. You can take it multiple times throughout the year. 

On this university’s website, you can see the median range of SAT and ACT scores for successful candidates to get an idea of your target.

Submit Your Essay 

In addition to a personal statement, some colleges need you to answer various prompts and submit essays. Drafting college essays is the most complex and time-consuming component of the application procedure. 

Many universities require you to submit an essay describing why you want to attend their institution. It is recommended to be transparent in your essay to allow the school’s admissions office to have a clear understanding of you as an individual. Being genuine about your experiences and opinions is essential while writing an excellent essay.

Use simple language that communicates a concept or generates an emotion. Avoid utilizing informal language and write using the first person.

Keep an Eye on Your Application Status 

Following the submission of your application and other documents, your university will notify you that they have obtained your application and provide you with details on how to follow your progress.

Check your application status according to the timeframe provided to you by the school’s admissions office.

Search Student Housing 

After you’ve applied for your school(s) of choice, you’ll need to think about where you’ll live after you travel abroad to attend university. You may consider whether you want to live in student accommodation or other on-campus residences.

If you choose to live off-campus, find out how much student housing will cost you per month and decide whether or not you want to stay with a roommate. Get to know the areas you’re thinking about moving to. This is a serious decision that will have an influence on your budget and safety. 

It’s essential to start searching for amber student accommodation early because of limited availability and the requirement to submit proof of accommodation during the visa process.

Apply for a Student Visa

Any foreign citizen wishing to enter the United States will be required to obtain a U.S. visa. The F-1 non-immigrant visa is the most common for students intending to study at a recognized institution or university in the United States.

Before applying for the visa, you must have an acceptance letter of admission from the university. You’ll be required to schedule a visa appointment with the US embassy in your nation. 

The earliest you begin this procedure, the better because there are massive backlogs following the pandemic. Visa appointments for student visas are among the backlogged categories, so it is important to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. 

Make Your Travel Plans

We will keep our fingers crossed, and if you succeed in securing admission, congratulations! If accepted, you’ll be required to pay your tuition fees and complete other necessary formalities. It’s time to fly to your dream study-abroad destination and chase your goals.


We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what it takes to apply to a university in the United States. It is not a relatively straightforward process, but by beginning early and gaining a jump-start, you can divide it into smaller, manageable sections.

Best of luck with your endeavor!

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Author’s Bio

Archit is an avid writer who is also a student of History and International relations. When not writing, he can be found reading, taking the Metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores.