Applying to U.S colleges for Nepalese students is a lengthy process: tests, recommendation letters, college research, essays, common application, financial documents and complex visa processes. If you want to take the ride to U.S College, you really need to put lot of efforts and hard work in completing the above-mentioned process.
Here are the five useful tips to ease your journey to U.S College for undergraduate degree.
1) Planning well ahead with the to-do lists:
Nothing is more frustrating than not getting to register for standardized test at your desired date due to full pre-registration, not getting your recommendation letters ready when the deadline is just few days away, having to rush for writing college essays at the last minute. So to avoid these type of scenarios, you need to make sure that you keep yourself updated with the available test dates before the booking is full, ask for recommendation letters from your teachers well on time, give proper amount of time in writing college essays, get your financial documents ready before the financial aid deadline. It is even better if you could submit the whole application well before the deadline as it will depict punctuality. However, you also need to make sure that you don’t compromise in the quality of your application while finishing your application work quickly.
2) Considering Early decision– risky yet rewarding move:
Early decision (ED) is a binding admission plan which means if you apply to one US College under early decision, you must attend that college if you are accepted given that your financial need is met. The college you choose for early decision should be the college that you desperately want to go and could meet your demonstrated financial need. Applying under early decision (ED) shows the admission officers that their college is your top choice and you are seriously committed to enroll. Similarly, you may benefit from first-come-first-serve basis as there is limited quota for Nepalese students in many US colleges given that you meet the required threshold. Also, general trend shows that handful of qualified Nepalese students get accepted to top U.S colleges under early decision every year.
3) Systematically short-listing colleges:
With thousands of U.S colleges to choose from, you may get lost in the maze of ‘Which college to apply!’ First of all, you need to understand that there are different leagues of colleges in US: Ivy League and top colleges with low acceptance rate and safety colleges with higher acceptance rate. You should thoroughly analyze your GPA, test scores, and ECAs and make your college choices accordingly. You should not get over-ambitious and include only top colleges in your colleges list. You should include mix of top and safety colleges too. And if you feel that your college application is not strong enough, it is better to include more safety colleges. Also you should make sure that your selected colleges provide decent scholarships or financial aid as per your needs.
4) Utilizing online resources:
There are handful of online resources that could assist Nepalese students in simplifying the US college application process. Two of them are College Confidential and College Sodhpuch. College Confidential (CC), the world’s largest college forum, contains a separate forum for Nepalese students where you could find out the name of US colleges that are accepting Nepalese students. College Sodhpuch, a question and answer platform, is specifically designed for Nepalese students where experienced Nepalese students answer the queries raised by the prospective Nepalese students. You should check out these websites.
5) Exploring USEF Nepal- providing handful of resources for Nepalese Students:
United States Educational fund (USEF) Nepal, located in Gyaneshwor, Kathmandu, provides accurate, reliable and free source of information and advice to Nepalese students on studying in the US. It provides range of services like ask an advisor sessions, free library services, free internet access for college search and sessions like Scholarships 101, tips on writing an application essay, using the common application, and many more. So, going to USEF and attending the sessions will definitely help you in taking the sound college decisions. Also, every year USEF Nepal opens Opportunity Fund Program around March-April with the aim to assist few Nepalese students planning to study in U.S with high academic records and demonstrated financial need. If you meet the required criteria illustrated by USEF Nepal, you may apply for this fund. Opportunity funds pays for specified up-front costs of applying of colleges in the United States.
Along with considering these suggestions, you should make sure that you put consistent effort and energy throughout the process without getting lost.