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Your preparations to study abroad in the US can start as early as 9th grade because that’s how far back some top universities go for your academic credentials. But even if you’re starting anytime later than that, there’s still a good chance you can study in the US after class 12 and can even go to the best universities (including the Ivy Leagues).  

However, the process of getting there can seem daunting but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Let’s start by deep diving into each step of studying in the US after Class 12.

In this blog:

  1. Research universities and programs
  2. Standardised tests
  3. Extracurricular activities
  4. Apply to universities
  5. Scholarships and financial aid
  6. Apply for a US student visa
  7. Tips to study in USA after class 12

STEP 1: Research universities and programs

The first step is to research universities that offer programs in your field of interest; you can use online resources like CollegeBoard, Peterson’s, and the US News & World Report. Look into the location, size, and cost of the universities when making your decision. 

You can also reach out to alums, current students, or education counsellors to better understand the universities. Education counsellors are trained experts with years of experience who can get you insights on universities, courses, and application processes, thus, improving your chances of admission.

STEP 2: Standardised tests

Most US universities require applicants to submit standardised test scores, like the SAT and ACT. These tests measure your knowledge and skills in math, reading, and writing. Start preparing for these tests early by taking practice exams and studying the areas you need improvement. 

According to the CollegeBoard’s 2021 Total Group Profile Report, the average SAT score for the class of 2021 was 1051 out of 1600, and the average ACT composite score was 20.6 out of 36. Your target should be to get scores that are above these averages. However, if you’re aiming for the top universities, we’d suggest aiming for a 1450+ on your SAT exam.

Suggested Reads:

SAT syllabus 2023

Ace the SAT exam: practice tests

STEP 3: Extracurricular activities

US universities also look for well-rounded students to assess the value you’ll be adding to the campus besides academics. Participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer, and take on leadership roles to showcase your skills and interests outside of academics. This can help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your ability to manage your time effectively.

STEP 4: Apply to universities

Once you have a list of universities you want to apply to, gather all the required documents, like your academic transcripts, standardised test scores, statement of purpose, recommendation letters, and application essays.

Pro Tip: Apply to multiple universities with one application through the Common App!

Make sure to fill out the application carefully and proofread it for errors. It’s essential to meet the deadlines and submit the application early to increase your chances of acceptance.

STEP 5: Scholarships and financial aid

The cost of studying in the US varies depending on the university and program. According to College Board’s 2020 Trends in College Pricing report, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year was $47,650 at private four-year institutions and $15,560 at public four-year institutions for in-state students. 

However, many universities offer financial aid to international students to help cover the cost of attendance. Research the financial aid options available for Indian students and apply for them. This can include scholarships, grants, or work-study programs. Make sure to read the eligibility requirements carefully and apply for the ones that match your profile.

STEP 6: Applying for a student visa

Once accepted to a university, you’ll need to obtain a US student visa. Fill out the visa application, pay the fee, and attend an interview at the US embassy or consulate. Make sure to read the visa requirements carefully and bring all the required documents to the interview. 

This process can take several weeks, so make sure to apply as soon as possible, and for that, you’ll need to start your college applications early on. According to the US Department of State, the average processing time for a student visa is around 5-7 business days, but it can take longer during peak travel periods or if additional administrative processing is required.

Suggested Reads:

US student visa process: how to apply & new guidelines

Study in USA: top 5 states for Indian students

Tips to study in USA after class 12

Here are some tips and tricks that will make your journey to studying in the US after completing Class 12 super exciting and easy:

Start early

Don’t procrastinate! The earlier you start, the better. By beginning the application process in advance, you’ll have more time to research your options, take the necessary standardised tests, build your profile, and apply to universities. Plus, starting early means you’ll have less stress and more time to focus on other things that matter to you, like friends, hobbies, and extracurricular activities.

Seek guidance

Applying to universities can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. That’s where education consultants and guidance counsellors come in. They can give you expert advice on choosing universities that are a good fit for you, creating a standout application, and navigating the financial aid process. Plus, they can answer all your questions and help you feel confident and prepared.

Be realistic

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to a range of universities, including some that are less competitive. While it’s great to aim high, it’s also important to have backup options in case you aren’t accepted to your top choices. By applying to various universities, you’ll increase your chances of acceptance and give yourself more options when it comes time to make a decision.

Be prepared

Applying to universities requires a lot of paperwork and documentation. To avoid last-minute stress, it’s important to gather all the required documents well in advance of the application deadlines. This includes things like transcripts, test scores, recommendation letters, and financial aid forms. Keep a checklist of everything you need, and don’t leave anything to the last minute.

Stay focused

Maintaining good grades in school is extremely important, but don’t forget to have fun and participate in extracurricular activities and volunteer work. Universities are looking for well-rounded students who can balance academics with other interests and passions. By getting involved in activities that you enjoy, you’ll not only show universities that you’re a well-rounded student, but you’ll also have a more fulfilling high school experience.

Plan your study in USA after class 12

In conclusion, studying in the US after Class 12 is like embarking on an exciting new adventure, complete with twists, turns, and unexpected surprises. But don’t worry, it’s not a rollercoaster ride you can’t handle! With a little preparation, determination, and consistency, you can navigate the ups and downs of the application process and emerge victorious. 

Remember to stay focused, stay positive, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. So, go ahead and chase your dreams because studying in the US could be the start of an exciting new chapter in your life.

Our US experts at Jamboree have helped over 170,000 students successfully win admissions to top universities and Ivy Leagues, including Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Stanford, over the last 30 years. You could be next on the list! Book a free counselling session with our admission expert and get started with your education in the US.

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