FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FAQ – General
Q: How many schools should I apply for?
We suggest you apply for several schools, for example 8 schools in total. Apply for some schools with challenging and high requirements, as well as schools with lower requirements incase you don’t gain admission to those better schools.
Q: When is the deadline for application?
The deadline varies for each school. Apply as soon as possible to have a better chance of being admitted. You will need time to complete the application process, so make sure you are prepared and aware of the application procedure of your desired school.
Q: When can I get the application results?
It depends on each school’s application policy, make sure to check this with the university you are applying for. Most universities send out admission packets from March to May. Some schools give offers in January, and a few send out admission materials in June or July.
Q: When does a new academic year begin?
Normally the academic year begins in August or September. It is also the time when Fall Semester begins. Some universities also recruit students in Spring Quarter (January) and Summer Quarter (June), but usually the majors and number of admitted students are lower, and the chance of receiving a scholarship is slimmer.
FAQ – Application
Q: Can I take IELTS test instead of TOEFL?
Most US universities recognize IELTS and is accepted instead of TOEFL. Make sure you check whether it is recognized with the university you are applying for. However, taking TOEFL may be more beneficial for the applicant, because some universities require a higher IELTS score than TOEFL.
Q: I will take the TOEFL test in January of next year, which means I may miss the application deadline for some universities. What to do if the time for test can’t be changed?
Some universities allow students to send their TOEFL/GRE test result within a month after the deadline of application. Make sure you confirm this with the school you are applying for.
Q: I’m good at musical performance and sports, can that be helpful for my application?
For undergraduate admissions, US universities prefer students who participate in various activities. For graduate program application, it’s more important that students do well in their academic courses and research fields. However, work experience or serious participation in activities is always a plus.
Q: I have some friends and relatives in the US, will they be helpful for my application?
You should not mention or include them in your application, unless they are professionals in fields that are related to your major, and they are willing to write a letter of recommendation for you.
FAQ – Admission and enrolling
Q: What kinds of students are popular in admission?
In a recent college admissions survey done by NACAC, colleges and universities were asked to rank the importance of admissions factors:
1. Grades in college preparatory courses
2. Test scores
3. Overall grades in courses
4. Application essays
5. Letters of recommendation
7. Work experience and extracurricular activities
8. Demonstrated interest
9. Subject tests
10. Financial readiness and ability to pay for education
11. State or country of residence
12. Alumni relations
Q: Can I change my major in the future, or transfer to another university?
It is very common for students to change major several times over the course of their academic career. Changing major doesn’t often affect a student in their freshmen or sophomore year, because they are mainly completing required general education. US students change majors on an average three times. It is also very common to transfer to another university.
Q: What is conditional admission
Conditional admission allows academically qualified students to be accepted to the university after they have studied at the school’s English training institute, and meet the university’s English language requirements.
FAQ – Graduate and post-graduate studies
Q: What are the requirements on applying for graduate programs in US universities? Should I take some standardized tests?
Besides the GPA requirements, you need to take TOEFL and GRE/GMAT test for the graduate program application. Detailed requirements vary depending on the university. For example, some universities require a minimum 3.0 GPA and TOEFL 80, others may have much higher requirements.
Q: I heard that US universities do not recognize a Chinese Masters Degree, is that true?
The Chinese masters degrees are recognized in the US. As the US and Chinese education systems are different, some Chinese graduate school graduates may be required to take US graduate courses to apply for US doctoral program.
FAQ – Money and cost
Q: What is the cost for studying one year in the US?
The two main parts of the cost are tuition and housing and board. The cost varies quite much depending on school, major and location. An estimated cost for reference is US$30,000 to US$50,000.
What are the requirements for applying for a scholarship?
There are no general requirements for applying for scholarships. However, most require minimum GAP level. You can also apply for a scholarship after you have been admitted. Schools have different scholarship policies, contact your school for detailed information.
Can I have a part-time job when studying in the US?
Yes, generally you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week with a student visa.
FAQ – US University system
Q: What’s the difference between a public university and private university? Which is better?
Public universities are funded by the government, usually the state government. UC Berkeley and Davis are two well known prestigious public universities. Private universities are mainly privately funded through tuitions, donations etc. Stanford and the Ivy Leagues are examples of private universities. There are respectively famous and high ranking public and private universities.
Q: How and who does the US university ranking?
There is no official university ranking from the Department of Education. US News is often used for ranking reference, as it is a recognized leader in university rankings. Each year US News releases their lists of top universities, including Best national universities, Best Regional universities, Best graduate schools, etc.