A brilliant score in your exam is definitely needed for admission to your desired university. But that is just one factor that universities abroad consider while assessing each applicant’s profile. They also take into consideration your academic scores at school and college level, extracurricular achievements, Letters of Recommendation (LORs), Statements of Purpose (SOPs) and application essays. This is where, admission counselors or study abroad consultants come into the picture.
Here is a list of 12 questions which should or can be asked from your admission counsellor:
Ques 1. Which intake is the preferred intake and why?
The Fall intake scores an edge over the Spring intake, due to the immense availability of majors, seats, and a higher probability of being admitted at the universities. For more information and more profound insights, you can always discuss the pros and cons of these two intakes with your Admissions Counselor.
A significant amount of undergraduate students find themselves at crossroads when they have to choose between the two tests. Busting the popular myth that one test carries more worth than the other, your Admissions Counselor is the right person to tell you that both the ACT and the SAT are considered equally for undergraduate admissions. Both the tests determine your knowledge and understanding of courses such as English and Mathematics and your Admissions Counselor can help you dive into the details about the structure and scoring of these exams.
Ques 3. How relevant are the LORs in determining the outcome of the application?
Letters of Recommendation are an indispensable part of your application and carry as much worth as any other component, say, Essays, or your test scores. Your Admissions Counselor can further shed light on this and can tell you that, in the US, applications are perceived through a holistic mirror. Resultant, this means that LORs define the kind of integrity, tenacity, and intellect you will bring to the University. The Recommendation letters speak volumes about how your past employers/teachers/project supervisors perceive your work and whether they are willing to vouch for your performance.
Ques 4. What exactly is the Admissions Committee looking for in a Statement of Purpose?
In your entire candidature, if there is one document which can be considered the face of your application, it is your Statement of Purpose. As your Admissions Counselor and Writer will let you know, the University is seeking candidates who have done substantial work in their chosen fields and display an undeterred drive and inquisitiveness. The SOP is the document which will help you narrate your motivations, research, projects, and your reasons behind your application. While writing it may seem a daunting task at first, it is actually not the case, once you invest sufficient time and efforts in it. After a detailed perusal of your Resume and overall profile, your Admissions Counselor can brainstorm with you and help you find concise and relevant content for the document.
Ques 5. What are the different kinds of scholarships offered to undergraduate students?
More often than not, both the students and their families encounter a tough time while managing funds for their education abroad. If you are facing similar issues, then you are not alone, and your Admissions Counselor will explain to you the nitty-gritty of the entire scholarship process. A scholarship can be offered by a university or by an external organization looking to fund students with strong candidatures. Scholarships can be renewable up to 4 years or a one-time non-renewable grant. For instance, some universities in Texas offer competitive scholarship waiver where international students pay the in-state price during their four years of under-graduation. Your Admissions Counselor will also familiarize you with the merit-based and need-based financial aid and the points of difference between these.
Ques 6. What is FAFSA and what is its eligibility criteria?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid which is available on a need-basis to US domestic students and some US Green Card holders as well. If you believe you are eligible for FAFSA, talk to your Admissions Counselor, and they will help you fill the application. A pro-bono application, it becomes available on October 1st of the preceding year for the upcoming academic year. Due to a large number of applications received by the Universities every year, it is better to file as early as possible and maximize your chances of securing the aid.
Ques 7. How important is the University ranking while shortlisting and finalizing Universities?
University ranking is one of the factors that can be considered while shortlisting and finalizing universities. However, it must not become the decisive factor because a university must be many things in addition to having a good reputation, such as a good fit for your cultural and intellectual needs. In order to know how vital university ranking should be while you make a decision, consult your Admissions Counselor so that they can provide you information about which crucial aspects need to be considered before you decide on your final University.
Ques 8. How important are the GRE subject tests for American Universities?
Before unnecessarily stressing yourself out over the GRE subject tests, it is advisable to ask your Admissions Counselor whether your dream University/program necessitates the subject test. In most of the cases, there is no such requirement, and you will find very few programs such as Biology or Chemistry asking to appear for the subject test.
Ques 9. Can I apply to schools without TOEFL or IELTS since the medium of my undergraduate degree was in English?
This is a universal doubt which pervades amongst a majority of students while they are engaged in the preparation of these language tests. Clear all your doubts with your Admissions Counselor before you hurl yourself in the task of preparing for these exams, and you will learn that since English isn’t our native language, Indians are required to appear for one of the two exams. If you are dilemmatic about which test carries more worth, the Counselor will inform you that, generally, both these tests carry equal worth. However, Europe is an exception because here, IELTS is preferred over TOEFL.
Ques 10. Which documents should I acquire before applying to the Universities?
Regular check-ins with your Admissions Counselor become crucial because there are several essential documents one needs to arrange before the application. Ensure that you have prepared your set of transcripts, mark sheets, degree certificate, SOP/Essays, Letters of recommendation, Passport, and GRE/TOEFL/IELTS. While some Universities require hard copies of these documents, most of them call for online submission. Accumulating all these documents can be time-consuming and perhaps, a little overwhelming too, which is why your Admissions Counselor is your one stop destination to assist you on these matters.
Ques 11. What does the term STEM degree courses signify?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It includes highly competitive courses such as Information Systems, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Industrial Engineering, amongst others. In case you want to explore the further concentrations, you can ask your Admissions Counselor, and they will help you decide which option to choose from, say, Data Handling, Artificial Intelligence, Fluids and Mechanics, and Engineering Management. A thorough conversation with the Counselor will also inform you that STEM is one of the highest paid packages concerning your career as it deals with breakthrough, emerging technology.
Ques 12. What are the options and chances for a post-study work permit in the US?
While you near the completion of your education in the US on a student (F-1) visa, you are eligible to apply for a post-completion work permit which allows you to gain paid or unpaid experience in your specialized field of study. When you explore the dimensions of the work permit, your Admissions Counselor will tell you that this temporary work permit specifies some conditions which need to be met, which will then pave the path for you to garner experience in your field of study.
Looking for someone to help with your admission counselling, contact Jamboree’s Admission Counselling team