The hardest part of a study-in-America application process is to pick a right school. There are many things that you should seriously take into account.
Some applicants pick universities that have the best rankings or are most prestigious. But I would advise against such decision-making. You need to pick a university that best fits your academic, personal, and financial needs. The easiest way for you to understand your needs will be to answer these three important questions:
- What major do I want to have?
- How much money do I have?
- Which state do I want to be in?
Once you know the answers, start your research. The first helpful resource will be the Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the State’s website where you will find all the certified schools ( you don’t want to get a degree from a non-certified school). The website is easy to navigate. You just have to click on your state of interest and see the list of all schools there. F-1 is the foreign-student non-immigrant visa you will have to get before coming to the U.S.
Another useful resource is Internationalstudent.com blog that offers a very helpful information about financial aid options for international students. The blog also has a list of schools for each state that offer financial aid to foreign applicants.
Don’t be sad if you don’t find the school you picked in the list, though. Intenationalstudent.com didn’t have my U.S. school listed – Northern Illinois University. If you have already chosen your school, search for financial aid options on its website.
Last but not least, look for an advising center in your home country. These centers advise on test preparation, application process and often organize educational fairs where you can meet with representatives of various U.S. schools.