How to apply for US university admission?

How to apply for US university admission?

Table of Contents

  1. Types of intakes in the US
  2. How to apply for US universities?
  3. Documents required to study in the US
  4. Important application deadlines for US universities
  5. Types of US student visas
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

The US is a dream academic space for a growing number of Indian students. According to the annual report of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Indian students heading to the US have shown an increase of 12% in 2022 compared to 2021, making the total number of Indian students in the country 2,97,151.

However, the actual number of students who apply for US universities is way more than this, since many applications get rejected at any of the stages in the process. From listing the desired universities to joining the institution, the admission process is fraught with various stages.

If you are wondering how to secure an admission in the US, read on, as we offer a complete guidance to your dream admission journey to a US university.

Types of intakes in the US

There are three admission intakes in the US – Spring intake, Summer intake, and Fall intake. The Fall intake is the most popular intake with most universities having admission sessions and most scholarship applications open. The Spring intake also has many universities open for admissions. The Summer intake is known for short-term courses and certified programs.

The table below shows the US university intakes and the application period:

IntakeApplication period
Spring or January intakeMay-August
Summer or May intakeMay – August
Fall or September intakeSeptember – December

How to apply for US universities?

You may begin the application process while in your last year of study or after completing your education, whichever is convenient for you. The application process is the same for all US universities. Students can apply for multiple universities at the same time with separate applications for each university. Although the application process is the same, the deadlines are different for each university in the US.

  • Decide your target universities
  • Go to their websites and mark the important deadlines
  • Get the documents required for application handy before you initiate the application process
  • Get your Form I-20 and SEVIS ID to proceed with for US student visa application.

Documents required to study in the US

The following documents are required to make a successful application for a US university admission:

  • Duly filled application form that can be accessed in the university website
  • Standardized test scores – GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc.
  • US student visa documents
  • Academic transcripts
  • Motivation Letter or Statement of Purpose (SoP). Remember, the SoP format is different for MS, MBA, and other programs. Get in touch with us for assistance in drafting the best SoP for your study in the US.
  • Recommendation letters, usually 2 – 3
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV), showing your work experience and extracurricular activities
  • Portfolio of work for Arts students

If your application is accepted, the university will send you an offer letter and Form I-20, which is very important to apply for a US student visa and attend the consular interview.

There may be an interview of the shortlisted students for some courses, such as MS or MBA, while an audition is usually conducted for Arts students.

The application fee for US university applications is approximately 50-100 USD.

Important application deadlines for US universities

You can apply anytime in the year for admission to a US university. Your application will be considered for the next admission session that comes after your application. Broadly, there are three application deadlines for US universities: Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision.

Early Decision (ED): Early Decision deadlines are in November every year, and are suggested for students who dream of one school and would not want to change their university of admission. If selected, you will hear out from the university by December. Acceptance of Early Decision applications is binding, meaning that students cannot change their university once they get acceptance.

Early Action (EA): Generally, Early Action deadlines are in November or December. EA is suggested for students who wish to weigh all of the options they like while applying for US university admissions. Unlike Early Decision acceptance, EA is not binding, meaning that students can change their university of admission after getting enrolled to a particular university. There is Restrictive Early Action in which students can select only one school, still not binding.

Regular Decision: Regular Decision is the most common application deadline for US universities. Usually, January 01 – February 01 every year is the deadline for RD applications. RD allows students to explore more options in the US for admission.

Don’t forget! The application deadline for each university is decided by the particular university. You should visit the website of your desired university to plan a timeline for your application.

Types of US student visas

If your application to a US university is accepted, you must apply for a US student visa and attend the consular interview. Depending on your course of study, there are three types of visas for students – F-1, M-1, and J-1.

  • F-1 visa: The F-1 visa is required to study for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees or for intensive language training in the US. Most students apply for the F-1 visa every year compared to the other two visas. F-1 visa holders can work up to 20 hours a week if their school of study allows it. The application fee for an F-1 visa is 350 USD.
  • M-1 visa: The M-1 visa is required when you wish to undertake vocational or technical education in the US. M-1 visa holders can practice after the completion of their studies, but can’t work while they are studying. The application fee for an M-1 visa is 350 USD.
  • J-1 visa: Students apply for a J-1 visa to participate in exchange programs, such as Fulbright fellowships. This visa allows students to take short-term training in the US. 

Figure out which US student visa is required for your purpose and start the application process quickly as possible. You may draft a timeline accordingly since the visa application process can take longer than your expectation.

Studying in the US requires you to be patient and go through various stages. Carefully go through the blog and find the intake, deadlines, university, course, and the type of US student visa relevant for you. Ensure you have the required documents on hand before starting the application process.

However, the application process can be overwhelming if you are new to the US university admission process. No need to worry – take advantage of our US university admission counseling. Our dedicated counselors will analyze your profile and provide expert guidance regarding your application without charging anything from you. Get in touch with us – check the link right now.

Frequently asked questions

How can I get admission to a US university after the 12th?

You must obtain a minimum GPA of 2.60 – 4.00 to study in the US after 12th and secure minimum scores in the entrance tests SAT or ACT and any of the English proficiency tests, such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, etc. If you are applying for US universities while studying, make sure you will be submitting the documents on time.

How many days are required to complete the US university admission process? 

Usually, it takes 8 – 10 weeks to complete your application process, and 4 or more weeks to get the US student visa. You can apply from 9 months early to 1 month before the semester starts.

What is the minimum GPA requirement for admission to US universities? 

The minimum score required for admission in the US is 65% for humanities courses and 70% – 80% for STEM courses. However, the minimum score requirement is set by each university for different courses.

How much is the cost of study in the US for Indian students?

The average tuition fee ranges from 5,000 – 50,000 USD (INR 4 – 42 Lakh) and the living cost is estimated as around 10,000 USD (INR 8 Lakh).

What are the minimum entrance test scores for admission in the US?

The minimum scores to study in the US in various entrance tests are given below: 

  • IELTS – 6.5 bands
  • TOEFL (iBT) – 61 – 80 
  • PTE – 50 – 70
  • Duolingo – 100 – 120
  • SAT – 1,400
  • GRE – 315 – 320
  • GMAT – 500