College Admission Requirements for International Applicants

By Peterson's Staff updated on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting accepted into a school in the United States requires more than paperwork and the financial means to pay for it. You'll need to present yourself as a strong applicant and demonstrate the credentials that will make you a desirable candidate in your college admissions requirements. Part of that equation includes your test scores and grades.

Want some good news? If you have the money to attend, now might be the time to apply. U.S. institutions seek to build and maintain a diverse student body, so they are looking to fill spots with international students. Right now, they are also seeking to counterbalance a decline in international student enrollments over the last several years.

If an education in the U.S. is something you're interested in, then it's time to get started on the college admission process!

College admission requirements include the SAT and ACT

Top schools look for the best and brightest to attend, so when it comes to your application and your admission tests, good grades and good scores count. However, don't let it frighten you. Remember that schools are looking for international students. That means they're not looking for an excuse to decline your application.

If you need to take them, put some time into studying for the SAT or ACT — and don't be afraid! Confidence goes a long way in ensuring that you do your very best, not only in this stage, but in all parts of the college admissions process.

TOEFL part of college admission process for international students

As an international applicant, you'll probably also have to take an additional test known as the TOEFL, the Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test is designed to evaluate your English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and comprehension.

Your ability to speak and understand English is important. Based on your TOEFL scores, you may be pointed to some intensive English classes when you get to campus. If you need them, however, they can only help. Consider them an opportunity!

If you're not feeling confident about your English skills, you may want to seek college admissions assistance. There are many test prep services and products available that can help you prepare for the TOEFL and other admission tests. Check in with your local Education USA advising center for a full list of resources.

Grades are key college admission requirements

Your academic history is an important part of your application package. Some schools will look for a history of advanced curriculum, as well as a consistent and excellent academic record. Overall, however, schools will all be looking for the same thing — to see what kind of student you are.

Once of the best ways to ensure a successful college admissions process is to select and apply to schools that suit you, both academically as well as in terms of environment. The reality is that American schools want international students. Invest lots of time into creating the right list of schools to which you'll apply and you'll have the best chance of finding and getting into the school that's right for you.

Do your best
Ultimately, you need to do what every student should do to prepare for college admissions requirements: work hard, study hard, prepare for tests, and be the best student you can be. It pays off in the end, no matter where you end up going to school!

About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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