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Finalizing the US College Shortlist

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In your final high school year, college finalizing and planning kicks into high gear. There’s a lot to think about, from shortlisting a college and diving into the overwhelming process of applications.

Where do you want to go to college? If you are a recent high college graduate or a high college senior, you’ve probably heard that question from guidance counselors, well-meaning relatives, and certainly your parents and friends. In many cases, the question is only intended to launch a bit of small talk. On the other hand, where you decide to go to college can have a long reaching impact on your future. *

A college shortlist helps a student to sort out a list of potential colleges, narrow down the selection, and identify schools to further communicate with. Once you have selected the college and course you want to be a part of, your work here is not just done yet. You need to consider and work on several things to get an acceptance letter from your dream college.

FOCUS ON ESSAYS – Top US universities pay special attention to your essays as they showcase your skills and abilities, sort of an overall idea of what you bring to the community. Writing a crisp and to-the-point essay is vital. Writing appealing essays helps admissions officers to understand your personality and identity.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION – Now that you have shortlisted your university and course, you must focus on getting your letters of recommendation from your teachers and counselors. Many students do not understand the importance of LORs in the application pool. You should ask teachers who understand you and have seen you grow over the years. LORs reflect on your strengths and motivations.

SIGN UP FOR TESTS – Though many universities do not require standardized test scores for admission, some schools accept the ACT/SAT. You can also start preparing for IELTS and TOEFL; these English proficiency tests are usually accepted by US universities. Some students work on test prep books and utilize resources online to get a head start.

LOOK AT FINANCIAL AID – Based on financial needs, many US universities offer great financial aid to international students. Look at the selected colleges’ websites and understand the awards and scholarships they provide and the requirements needed.

ACCEPTING OFFERS FROM THE RIGHT COLLEGE – It is paramount that the final college you choose to study in is a good fit for you. What is it that attracts you to a particular college? Do you see yourself making a difference in the college community and culture? Look at the college websites again and the courses they offer. A thoughtful and well-researched investigation can help you make a more informed and assertive decision of which offer to accept.


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