Tips for UK Students applying for college in the US

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The United States has the largest international student population across the world. In fact, more British students study in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. Why do so many international students choose U.S. colleges and universities? For starters, colleges in the U.S. take pride on being at the forefront of technology, research and techniques. They also make the best possible equipment and resources available to their students. Applying for college as an international student doesn’t have to be confusing, use the following tips to guide you through the application process.

Choosing Which School(s) to Apply To

The United States has approximately 5,300 colleges and universities ranging from beauty schools to Ivy Leagues. Consider the school’s cost, location, campus life, and academic programs and majors so that you can narrow the list of universities to which you want to apply. You can also use college search tools to help you search for schools and compare them.  Be sure to search for schools that you can afford and fit what you are looking for. For instance, if you want to attend a school with a small student population you shouldn’t be considering USC since it’s a school with a large student population.

Research Admission Requirements

Each school in the U.S., has its own requirements deadlines, fees and requirements. Make sure you know all the deadlines because missing a deadline can affect your chances of getting accepted. Each university will list the admission requirements on their website, including the required admission tests.

Taking Any Required Standardized Test

Most four-year universities and colleges require every student to take an admission test such as the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, or ACT. These test have international registration fees. For the SAT test there is $47.50 plus Non-U.S. Regional Fee, and for the SAT with essay there is a $64.50 plus Non-U.S. Regional Fee. Taking the SAT with essay is optional. You should take it if you want to showcase your writing skills, however, your chances of you getting into a particular school will not be affected if you choose to not take the SAT with essay.

Make a Financial Plan

Before submitting your application, you should make a financial plan. As an international student you don’t qualify for federal student aid from the U.S Department of Education. However, in some cases you may be eligible for financial aid from the U.S. Federal Government. You should contact the UK government and the college you plan to attend to see what aid they might be able to offer you. For more information about international students eligibility for financial aid, visit Student Aid.

Review Your Application

One way school learn more about you and your school is by requiring that you submit two to three reference letters, transcript and school profile. Make sure your application reflects who you are as a person. Before submitting your application you should have someone review your application to make sure that everything is in order. Colleges want to get to know you through your personal statement. Your personal statement should highlight who you are and what makes you different from others. Be sure to look for bad spelling and grammar in your personal statement.


When applying for college in the United States you can submit individual application for each school. You apply as an undergraduate instead of applying for a university, college school or specific degree. Each school has a fee that you are required to pay in order to apply. College application fees range from $20 to $90 so make sure you know what the fees are for the school(s) you plan to apply for. If you can’t afford to pay the college application fee, you can contact each school directly and ask for an application fee waiver. Some schools will waive this fee for their student, if the student can’t afford it.

Make Your Decision

When you enroll at a college, you will be required to pay an enrollment deposit. The deposit goes toward your student tuition and fees. Most schools will have a decision deadline. For regular admission, the deadline is usually on May 1st. On May 1st, students have to commit to the school of their choice and make the enrollment deposit along with the housing deposit if they plan to live on campus. You should base your decision on which school provided the best financial aid package.

Fulfill Visa or Passport Requirements

In the United States, full-time students need a F-1 student visa. Visa is available through the course of your study and for 60 days after your graduation. If you plan to study in the U.S as part of a student exchange programme, you will be required a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. You can find more information about the numerous visas available to students from the US Embassy in London.

Search for Grants and Scholarships for Internationals Students

In state universities, international students pay more than local residents but the same as other out-of-state students. Essentially, loans are available for international students but you need a US citizen as a co signer.

Numerous scholarships are available for UK students, offered by the universities themselves as well as outside sources. Below you will find scholarships funded by the government and private scholarships.

  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • Fulbright Foreign Student Program
  • Abbey Road Summer Scholarships
  • Preply Scholarship
  • The Next Gen Scholarship Fund
  • Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship