Should your child study in the U.S? What You Need to Know

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

With over 5000 colleges and universities across the country, some of the best universities in the world are located in the U.S., offering students a wide variety of disciplines to study. But is it the right fit for you?

American universities are known around the world for their academic excellence, sophistication, and four year "core" requirements. Here's our take on whether studying in the U.S is a good choice for your child.

Application Requirements

Each U.S University has its own university has its own admission standards, and a student must apply to each university separately. However, many have these similar requirements:

  1. Take the SAT/ACT (optional for a few universities, but recommended)

  2. Take the TOEFL (required for international students for a few select courses)

  3. Acquire a high school diploma

  4. Write out a Personal Statement

Getting the highest scores in standardized tests and getting the nest grades in high school doesn’t guarantee admission in the top universities in the U.S.

Most universities in the U.S have a holistic approach to education, and look at the students as a whole, and don’t treat them as numbers on a transcript. This means that in order to get admitted into the top universities, a student must also showcase extracurricular activities in their application. These can include internships, service and sports.

Academic Life: Variety is the name of the game.

U.S undergraduate students often have the option of studying a wide range of subjects. However, they also have to complete core requirements. American universities like to provide students with a well-rounded education by requiring a set amount of liberal arts classes needed to graduate.

American students do not select a major in their first year and fulfill their major requirements, like many non-US university students. American universities require students to complete core liberal arts requirements before graduating:

  • Math

  • Science

  • English

  • Philosophy

American universities want students to explore their interests before deciding a major after their sophomore year. The major you apply with is not the major you will stick with!

Opportunities: Hard to Beat

Degrees from U.S universities are renowned for their excellence, and are recognized around the world. This means that students that choose to study in the U.S can still choose to move home or to a different country and find work.

Additionally, U.S Universities offer networking opportunities with alumni. If you are lucky enough to attend a larger, older school, you will likely have a multitude of networking opportunities to find internships and advance your career.

Cost: The Price Tag is Hefty

One thing to consider is that most American universities have an extremely high rate of tuition, especially in comparison to universities outside of the U.S. However, there are numerous private scholarships available to international students that are applicable for U.S. universities.

In Summary...

Your child should carefully consider what kind of undergraduate experience they want to have. The best way to do so is to ask American students what their experience is like! Connect with them on social media, ask your teachers, or see if there are any recent graduates willing to speak with you.

One thing is for sure: what's meant to be won't pass you by. 99% of students, whether their journey takes them to their first choice school or their safety school, are happy with the experience they have.

Pavan Sampath is the head of business development at AscendNow. He studied at Michigan State University in the U.S. from 2015 to 2019.

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